Gov. Perdue Announces Greenhouse Incubator - Alexandria Ag-Tech Center

Durham, N.C. -- Growing ag biotech companies in North Carolina will soon have a new place to develop their products.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. announced plans today to build a 50,000-square-foot agricultural research center with 18,000 square feet of world-class research greenhouse space near Research Triangle Park. It will be called North Carolina’s Alexandria Ag-Tech Center and can accommodate multiple tenants.

“As complex environmental issues – like the growing world population, limits to world food supply, shrinking natural resources, and the need to develop green technologies – become increasingly urgent, the new Ag-Tech Center along with North Carolina’s commitment to education, innovation and agribusiness will ensure that our state plays a vital role in tackling those challenges,” said Governor Bev Perdue, in making the announcement at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center today.

The Alexandria Ag-Tech Center will feature cutting-edge individual greenhouse modules and support areas along with innovative shared amenities. Each greenhouse will have separate environmental controls, planting and support spaces.

The concept of a multi-user facility is familiar to Alexandria, which has a 16-year track record of providing high-quality, environmentally sustainable real estate, technical infrastructure, and specialized services to the broad and diverse life science industry. The Ag-Tech Center is an extension of Alexandria’s expertise in building sophisticated greenhouse facilities having completed greenhouses in Research Triangle Park for leading multinational agricultural biotechnology companies, as well as the current development of Medicago USA’s greenhouse facility for vaccine production.

“Alexandria is excited to be working with the State of North Carolina on this unique project. Agricultural biotechnology holds great promise for sustainable agriculture, improved human health, and clean energy. The Alexandria Ag-Tech Center will provide ag-biotechnology companies with unprecedented access to state-of-the-art greenhouse facilities for research, accelerating their growth, and further strengthening North Carolina’s position as a leader in ag biotechnology,” said Oliver Sherrill, Vice President-Regional Market Director at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

The project is one of the many moving forward under the leadership of the Biotech Center’s AgBiotech group. The group is bringing together statewide partners in agriculture and biotechnology to grow the state’s ag economy to $100 billion by 2020.

“We see a vast potential in ag biotech to broaden our economic base and create jobs,” said Norris Tolson, president and CEO of the Biotech Center. “When you look at the whole range and breadth of what agriculture can do for us in North Carolina, it is well beyond just food on the table.”

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For more information on Alexandria or the Ag-Tech Center, visit Alexandria’s website at

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide. Visit the Biotechnology Center's Web site.

For more information on the AgBiotech group and the Biotech Center’s AgBiotech Initiative, visit  their website. Or Contact Robin Deacle, senior director of corporate communications, at 919-541-9366.