The big thinkers who created Research Triangle Park in 1959 to spur the regions economy would appreciate the ambition behind the plans to renew the park for the 21st century.
Bob Geolas, the RTP Foundations president and CEO, and the parks board are proposing $50 million worth of retail and residential development with public parks and even an outdoor amphitheater. The plans reflect gutsy ideas for a place that has always represented a rather academic setting for important people doing important work.
But the revolution of 1959 couldnt last forever, and the RTP board consisting of CEOs and university presidents and others recognized the need for a second revolution. Geolas, a veteran of N.C. States Centennial Campus who ran Clemson Universitys automotive research campus, came to RTP four years ago and in 2012 announced a new master plan for the park.
On Thursday, the details were unveiled. Park Center, a 100-acre office park at N.C. 54 and Davis Drive, will be redeveloped. The foundation took control of it last year. Thanks to grants from the RTP Foundation ($20 million), Durham County ($20 million) and the parks owners and tenants ($10 million), the project is ready to proceed.
What will result is something ...