New RTP vision: Live and work in the Park - WNCN: News, Weather

New RTP vision: Live and work in the Park

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DURHAM, N.C. -

The Research Triangle Park is looking to become a place where people live and work, according to a new vision of the park announced Monday by Bob Geolas, president of the Research Triangle Park.

The 7,000-acre park, most of which is in Durham County, has purchased several more parcels to add to its size and will have mixed-use development there.

It's a major change for the park, which began in 1959 and began to rise to national prominence when companies like IBM shifted workers to RTP in the 1960s.

"We don't intend to just keep up," Geolas said. "We want to take leadership of what that new environment looks like."

Geolas said a key part of the new RTP will be commuter rail.

"We are absolutely committed to dedicated rail," Geolas said.

Geolas said RTP will push development at the new site quickly and a site plan should be ready in two months. Construction would begin as soon as possible.

The first phase of RTP's transformation will be using 100 acres to start building homes. Those who own companies in the park say that's vital to attract the next generation of workers.

"This design will not only bring young people interested in living and working at RTP, they'll have things to do and be committed to staying in the area," said Shelia Ryba, a local business owner. 

And Nathaniel Pettiford, a commercial real estate adviser, said, "If they build residential, they'll be shopping centers and things of that nature to service those who are living here."

Geolas said the proposed Chatham Park is "not our competition" and there was room for both ideas in the region.

There are currently about 50,000 people who work in RTP, which is home to about 170 companies. About 10,000 of those who work in the park are contract employees.

RTP Master Plan

 

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