UNC nixes plans for Innovation Center at Carolina North | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UNC nixes plans for Innovation Center at Carolina North

Posted by on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 10:50 PM

The Innovation Center that UNC leaders had heralded as the first building to be built at Carolina North is unlikely to be constructed, Carolina North Executive Director Jack Evans said Wednesday night.

“I would simply summarize by saying that it’s unlikely to happen,” he said. “That’s another casualty of the economy. … If the financial markets hadn’t gone to hell, it would have been constructed by now.”

ccm1_018602.jpg
  • Courtesy of UNC
Evans was addressing a group of Chapel Hill residents at a public information meeting detailing the first Carolina North Annual Report, submitted to the town Sept. 1 as required by the university and town development agreement.

The Innovation Center was planned to be an 85,000 square foot, three-story building that would provide incubator space for startup companies and other private techonology companies.

Evans says discussions broke down the private partner Alexandria Real Estate Equities of Pasadena, Calif.
“It would take something that I don’t see in the offing to have that discussion,” he said.

Alexandria would have built and operated the space and UNC wanted to rent 1/3 of it. Because Alexandria is private, the company would have paid taxes on it. UNC is tax exempt. The UNC Board of Trustees approved plans for the center in August of 2008.

UNC planners now envision a research building as the first Carolina North edifice to be erected on the Horace Williams Tract, the 947-acre plot in Chapel Hill and Carrboro that will be home to the new campus.

Evans says the building will be sited on the interior of the tract and will use a different entrance than the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard site that the Innovation Center would have used.

The timeline on the research building remains vague, however. Evans says UNC still must determine who the occupants would be and what infrastructure will be needed. It could include incubator space.

He hopes to complete that work by the end of the calendar year, but says he can’t predict when UNC would bring a proposal to the Town of Chapel Hill for review.

Construction hinges on closing the Horace Williams Airport, which cannot occur until June at the earliest.
The hangar being constructed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport to house UNC’s MedAir operations won’t be completed until then, and doctors will continue to fly from Horace Williams to clinics around the state in the meantime.

Evans also said that plans to move the law school to Carolina North have been put on hold because the move is tied to funding from the N.C. General Assembly.

“I don’t see an opportunity to be really optimistic about that funding in the future,” he said.

Still, the tone for the meeting was decidedly glass half full, and Town Manager Roger Stancill said several times that the slowdown in the economy provides the community a better chance to think through Carolina North details.

The Town Council will consider the annual report at its Oct . 11 business meeting.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Most Recent Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I truly admire the passion and support the message. But it seems standing on an overpass during rush hour traffic …

by Diane Alenezi on High Above I-40, Protesters Call for "Health Care 4 All" (News)

This will turn the Mordecai neighborhood & surrounding neighborhoods (one of the only places in downtown Raleigh with any character …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Oh Leanne, don't you know the GA laid them all off? And that people always crap on their own public …

by biIIy on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation