Sep 22, 2023 - News

Research Triangle Park's new tower, Via Labs is still looking for tenants

A rendering of the planned eight-story tall lab building in RTP, courtesy of Longfellow Real Estate Partners

Research Triangle Park's next laboratory building is unlike anything it's seen before.

Driving the news: On Thursday, national lab builder Longfellow Real Estate Partners released renderings and details about its planned building in the Hub RTP complex, an ambitious, $1.5-billion project attempting to give RTP its own downtown core.

  • The building, called Via Labs, will be eight stories tall and will have 265,000 square feet of life-science space.

Why it matters: When completed, Via Labs will be the first high-rise office building in Research Triangle Park — an area most associated with sprawling and hidden corporate campuses — and will be visible from Interstate 40.

  • Its construction would also be a win for the Research Triangle Foundation. The not-for-profit organization, which manages the research park, has bet big on transforming RTP into a denser, urban environment with housing, food and retail.

State of play: So far, construction on an apartment building, a parking deck and an office-and-retail complex is underway at Hub RTP.

  • Longfellow Managing Director Gregg Capps says that due to uncertainty in the economy, the company will not begin construction on the Via Labs building until it has found an anchor tenant.
  • That puts an uncertain timeline on the project — though Capps said interest from companies has been growing. Once construction does begin, it should last about 18 to 20 months.

Be smart: The biotech industry has been one of the few bright spots in the Triangle's office market since the pandemic, with traditional offices seeing spiking vacancies.

  • Lab space has remained more stable, however, with new projects spanning from Chapel Hill and Durham to Raleigh and Morrisville.
  • Longfellow, one of the Triangle's biggest lab builders, previously built the Durham Innovation District, and is proposing a high-rise lab building in downtown Chapel Hill.

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