October started off with a bang for the Research Triangle Park (RTP) as they announced the first phase of the Park’s redevelopment, also known as Park Center, 100-acres of land located in the heart of RTP. This is the first of such redevelopment efforts in the Park’s 56 year history. The announcement was made at the RTP Headquarters by Bob Geolas, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation of NC. Research Triangle Foundation is the nonprofit that manages the Research Triangle Park and helped secure $50 million in fundraising that enabled the project to happen.
The announcement started off with a video that looked back to Governor Luther Hodges’ vision of the park in 1959 remixed with visions of what the park will look like moving forward. This theme was continued throughout the announcement as Geolas made reference to use the park’s successful history as a catalyst for its future.
Bob Geolas gave a framework of Park Center during the announcement with emphasis on collaboration and it being a place for public interaction and innovation. According to the Park Center Idea Board, it will be a place that takes urban and suburban and mixes the two to create a place for “dreamers, believers, planners and creators.” Geolas stated that the Triangle already has great downtowns and this area will not be just another downtown, but a global center for a new way of thinking, working and sharing. Geolas sees the Park Center as somewhere where you can come and spend the whole day exploring all it will have to offer.
The Park Center will have residential spaces, high-end corporate space, retail and greenspace. Currently, there is over 300,000 square feet of retail planned, with Geolas hoping that the majority, if not all of it, will be local retailers. Most of this retail space will be food and beverage with additional space for other opportunities. While this seems like a futuristic and costly project, Geolas stated he wants the new space to be as accessible and affordable as possible for the community.
“This is anything and everything open to your imagination,” said Geolas during the announcement.
These plans for RTP will help propel it into the future and add a dynamic piece for the economic development of the Park and the region. Plans for the Park include the center being a global exchange center where innovation and collaboration happens. It intends to be a place where it enlightens and drives the individuals who live, work and play in it. This is nothing but good news for the companies in the Park and companies who are looking to relocate or start up here. Not only will it meet all their needs, but it will be on the cutting edge of innovation and technology.
To learn more about Park Center and the future of the RTP Redevelopment, visit the Park Center’s website. For future insight on the project being an economic engine for the region, read the News & Observer’s insight on the project.