Research Triangle Park to begin construction on new highrise, town center

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (WNCN) – Changes in Research Triangle Park are plenty. Among them are a new highrise and a new town center.

“You know, it’s really important that people get used to coming to RTP at night,” said Research Triangle Park President and CEO Scott Levitan. “The 100 acres was actually from the original sketch of RTP. The founders, the visionary founders, had actually penciled in that that would be the town center for RTP.”

More than 60 years later, construction is slated to start in May. The site is right at the former location of the Radisson Hotel and a shopping strip at Davis Drive and Highway 54.

The first phase of RTP’s 1 million-square-foot town center will include retail, dining, residential space, an amphitheater, and a 20-story building. That building will be RTP’s first highrise.

“The companies in RTP were so excited about this project that they actually voted to tax themselves $10 million to contribute to the project,” Levitan said.

Over time, it could expand 6 million square feet. Levitan said there’s a reason companies that call RTP home support the area — retainment and recruitment.

“RTP has evolved and we have to evolve the services that we provide so that companies feel like this is a place that they want to be and this is a place they can recruit talent,” Levitan said. “So, if you spend a little bit more on a building just to make sure that your employees are happy there, and they’re sticking to your company, it saves you a whole lot in churn.

“We’ve learned a lot through the process and how the market has changed when we have such a demand for talent.”

That talent lives up to a worldwide reputation that RTP intends on keeping.

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