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Boxyard RTP bows as a sign of RTP’s upcoming (overdue) boom.
If you build it, they will come… back. Since its inception (nee 1959) as the epicenter of the Triangle’s Tier-1 research universities, Research Triangle Park (RTP) has invested millions of dollars in building a space (to great success) where “people and ideas converge” for the 40,000-plus employees across more than 200 research, technology and
ag-bio companies. What’s missing is a place for those knowledge workers to live, play and eat.
Enter the premiere hip entertainment hub that is Boxyard RTP—a first glimpse of what’s coming—giving the bustling epicenter’s brainy talent a place to retreat pre-, during and post-work. Inspired by Boxyard Tulsa, the “industrial meets inventive” cargotecture that is this 15,000 square feet of repurposed shipping containers-turned-playspace has everyone all abuzz—though perhaps leaving some Raleighites to question its location: Why set in the ghost town that is currently Davis Drive? But Boxyard RTP is precisely the kind of vision the Park had missed on manifesting from its original MO. Quality of life is precisely what the massive HQs (think Apple, landing 4 miles down the road) we want to entice to the area to take into account when choosing a destination.
People don’t want to commute. And they need a place to buy groceries, dine and blow off some steam. Enter other new RTP destination for innovation and collaboration: Hub RTP, the $1.5 billion 44-acre project that broke ground last fall, further bringing to fruition this “live, play and shop where you work” vision via 1 million square feet of “all things new, next and groundbreaking.” Think a North-Hills-esque area, if you will, chock-full all of the ideal components of urban life—office space, “funspace” (retail and dining), “sleepspace” (1,200 apartments) and “stayspace” (boutique hotel and full-service hotel on-site), not to mention fitness center, grocery store and more—but merged across acres of greenspace, so you can thrive, and exhale.
“All the feedback [I received] in the community is that the Hub has to happen,” said Scott Levitan, CEO of the RTP Foundation. “In order to attract talent to come work for them, they need a town center so that, at lunchtime or after work, you can get a beer, there’s some entertainment, whatever. That is really the evolution that led us to really have to focus and create the relevant Hub project so that these companies can be successful.”
Looks like the transformation has begun.
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