Economic Development

Coming Attractions: 15-Acre Durham Innovation District, a "Downtown Research Hub"

The Durham Innovation District, or Durham ID, is coming to downtown Durham, North Carolina.  The project envisions the redevelopment of 15 downtown acres to include one million square feet of new office and laboratory space, 50,000 square feet of retail space and even residential units.  The project has been compared to Kendall Square near Harvard.

The partners in the project describe it as creating a downtown research hub with an emphasis on life science companies.  While “apps” and drone companies and other tech notions might take up residence, it appears the vision is to accommodate the more organic corners of the technical world. Durham is the City of Medicine, after all.

Development partner Longfellow Real Estate Partners says it well, as though channeling Richard Florida:  “You’ve got institutions like Duke University, Durham Tech, North Carolina Central University, a strong local work force and a tie-in to the greater Triangle area and market.  We [at Longfellow] think all those components together make for a great opportunity.”

This is the latest in what has been an exciting Renaissance in real estate and cultural development in Durham, only 20 minutes west of Raleigh.

“Ok, everyone remember that we parked in the Louis Pasteur lot, in space number ‘square root of -1’.”

Mike Thelen practices in Womble, Carlyle’s Real Estate Litigation and Land Use practice group. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients, from local governments to businesses, in land use and land development matters in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.

Follow the North Carolina Land Use Litigator on Twitter at @nclanduselaw and “like” us on Facebook here.

Categories: Economic Development

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