Built in 1950, the Nabisco building in Houston made history by producing Oreos, Fig Newtons, Chips Ahoy and other popular treats along one of America’s earliest bakery production lines. Today, those surroundings continue to emphasize innovation, serving as a home to some of the world’s most visionary life science and healthcare firms.

One of the oldest bakeries in the Nabisco network, the 600,000-square-foot facility was shuttered in 1999 due to high operational costs and an aging infrastructure. At its peak, the factory annually produced 320 million pounds of sweet snacks for Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Irving and Lubbock.

Looking to retain the building’s architectural integrity and honor its history, the Texas Medical Center (TMC) purchased and renovated the site in 2001 to create a globally recognized life science start-up hub, TMC Innovation.

All the Right Ingredients for Innovative Thinking

Healthcare start-ups and established industry leaders now share the cookie factory’s repurposed space amidst traces of the building’s industrial past, including original floors, ceilings, and equipment tracks. Look closely and you might even find a few faint Oreo decals gracing the floor!

Current tenants include the innovation arms of companies recognized worldwide, such as Johnson & Johnson, ABB Robotics and other corporate partners, as well emerging entrepreneurs building cutting edge technologies to enable the future of healthcare. The cookie factory tenants share a single goal: to drive collaboration and innovation in healthcare at the world’s largest medical city, TMC.

Located across from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, the building currently has multi-use spaces available for lease, not only for life science ventures, but also for supporting services such as legal and financial firms. With the cookie factory, companies have the opportunity to join some of Houston’s brightest minds in a unique, historical environment that has been enhanced with ultra-modern amenities. Where once the aroma of baking cookies filled the room, innovation is now in the air.