Statewide: Triangle region, March 2015

 In 2015-03

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Trading spaces

Think of The Frontier as one big beta test for the office park where technology innovations have revolutionized North Carolina. The 142,000-square-foot renovated building is the first to open on 100 acres that Research Triangle Foundation bought last year for $17 million. Its mission is to make Research Triangle Park, already home to more than 190 companies including IBM and GlaxoSmithKline, a destination for people to gather and collaborate. “By having The Frontier, we can play with the idea of accessibility and affordability,” RTF President and CEO Bob Geolas says. The building’s first floor is open to anyone for free, and there are conference rooms and tables for work. (There’s also a bar with a Kegerator and coffee station.) The Frontier has about 50 private offices that can be leased month-to-month for about $300. The concept is more co-working space than startup incubator. “It’s co-working, but it’s really co-working in an open-innovation concept where everyone has a chance to interact,” Geolas says. The Frontier has meeting spaces for small and large groups and has already booked its first tenants, which include the Army Research Office and the nonprofit Triangle ArtWorks, which promotes regional arts groups. RTP wants to transform itself from a 7,000-acre suburban office park — albeit one of the most famous in the U.S. — into a more attractive site for the hottest tech companies. Plans call for developing a hotel, apartments and 300,000 square feet of retail shops with a goal of adding 100,000 jobs. New roads are slated for as soon as next year. “What we’re doing is creating something that’s going to help North Carolina become a more competitive place.”


Briefs

RALEIGH — The state agreed to sell the 307-acre Dorothea Dix Hospital property to the city of Raleigh for $52 million. The city plans to create a park on the site, which includes the former mental-health treatment center that closed in 2012 and several dozen administrative buildings.

DURHAMCoLucid Pharmaceuticals raised $37.1 million in a stock offering led by TVM Capital Life Science, a venture-capital firm based in Munich and Montreal. Founded in 2005 by Durham-based Pappas Ventures, the drugmaker based here will use the proceeds to fund a study of a migraine treatment it is developing.

CLAYTONHospira will close its local plant in June, and 250 workers will lose their jobs. The Lake Forest, Ill.-based company, which is being acquired by New York-based Pfizer in a $17 billion deal, cited costs of modernizing the 100,000-square-foot plant as a reason for the closure. Hospira, which makes injectable drugs and medical devices, employs about 3,000 people in North Carolina.

DURHAMG1 Therapeutics raised $33 million in a round of financing led by Eshelman Ventures, a Wilmington-based investment company started by Pharmaceutical Product Development founder Fred Eshelman, and Boston-based RA Capital Management. The pharmaceutical company based here plans to use the proceeds to develop a treatment for cancer.

RALEIGHConcord Hospitality Enterprises and Kane Realty will develop and build a 133-room Marriott hotel in North Hills. The state’s first AC Hotel is expected to open in 2016. Kane purchased the North Hills site in 2001 and redeveloped a traditional shopping mall into a 100-acre, mixed-use district with shops, offices and apartments.

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