By: Jennifer Thomas, Charlotte Business Journal
The N.C. Research Campus will construct 1,500 square feet of speculative lab space to help attract tenants to the Kannapolis biotech hub.
Plans call for wet-lab capacity to be built on the third floor of the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory. It will accommodate as many as three companies when it becomes available in February.
This is the first spec space at the 350-acre research campus, which focuses on health, nutrition and agriculture.
“This new effort is key,” says Clyde Higgs, vice president of business development for campus developer Castle & Cooke North Carolina. “From an economic-development standpoint, having this type of inventory makes our region more competitive on several different fronts.”
The spec space will give the Kannapolis campus an inventory of flexible lab space that can accommodate either large or small companies. It will include administrative areas, bench tops, fume hoods, sinks and storage.
Higgs declines to provide specifics about lease rates or Castle & Cooke’s investment in the labs. “There is obviously inherent risk in building speculative space, but we have good data to suggest that we will fully lease it in a reasonable time frame,” he says.
The research campus includes more than 1 million square feet of lab and office space. It is home to operations of eight N.C. universities and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, as well as private companies including General Mills Inc., Monsanto Co., LabCorp and Dole Foods Inc.