Multiple Durham County elected officials joined the groundbreaking ceremony for “Horseshoe at the Hub” on Tuesday, lifting shovels alongside members of the Research Triangle Foundation and the project’s general contractor, Choate Construction.
“For those of you who don’t know, we’re sitting in Durham County today,” said Scott Levitan, President & CEO of RTF, as he addressed the crowd of almost 350 attendees at the Hub construction site off Modrich Boulevard.
The Hub is a $1.5 billion, 100-acre development project that will feature two million square feet of office, residential, retail, and hotel space, as well as 14 acres of green space. The groundbreaking ceremony, hosted by Choate Construction, focused on Horseshoe at the Hub, the central plaza-based space with 125,000 square feet of office and retail.
Levitan called the Hub project “a new downtown for RTP,” saying it’s something that the region has never had.
Spoken Word Artist Joshua Rowsey debuted a brand-new video at the ceremony—an animated spoken word piece that celebrated the history of RTP and the “work hard play hard” that’s coming next.
“It’s so beautiful to see the arts starting to grow right here in North Carolina,” said Rowsey in his remarks. “One big thing I say: You don’t have to go to LA you don’t have to go to New York. We can be right in our backyard, right here, and make something happen.”
Raymond Trapp, Vice President of Strategic Engagement for RTF, said in an interview with WRAL TechWire after the event that the groundbreaking ceremony was meant to “change the view of the park forever” and celebrate a “brand-new RTP”
“The history of the Park has been a place where you go, and you work. You do research. And it’s not very inviting,” said Trapp. “But that all changed. Today, that all changed.”
RESIDENTIAL MEETS RTP, WITH DURHAM COUNTY SHERIFF’S SUPPORT
Trapp also said that the ceremony was meant to invite the community “to come out and make this home.”
“We’ll have residential out here—we want you to live here, we want you to shop here, we want you to eat here,” said Trapp. “We want this to be a point of destination.”
“As I like to say, it’s the first time people are going to legally sleep in RTP since it was founded,” said Levitan in his remarks. “In 2024, we’re going to have 550 residential units here. So that’s why the Sheriff has become my new best friend.”
In an exclusive interview with WRAL TechWire before the ceremony, Durham County Sheriff Clarence F. Birkhead called the groundbreaking “a great day” for the community.
“This is a game changer for RTP and certainly for the region. I think it’s incredible,” said Birkhead. “As the Sheriff, want to make sure that we provide adequate security for all the people who are going to live out here, work out here.”
State Representative Zack Hawkins also called the development project a “game changer.”
“For a long time, you couldn’t live in RTP. I think it’s a game changer for people to do that because you have young professionals or young families who are not going to want to have to drive 20 or 30 minutes or even more to get to their job,” said Representative Hawkins in an interview with WRAL TechWire before the ceremony. “And so I think we’re being responsive to the changes, what’s happening in Northern Virginia, and what’s happening in Silicon Valley, and I think we’re doing a smart job.”
A $70 MILLION BRAIN MAGNET
Jack Cecil, Development Committee Chair for the RTF Board, called Horsehoe “our brain magnet.”
“It will be our attraction for more talent in this part of the state and the Triangle,” said Cecil in his remarks. “It’s people, it’s art, it’s culture. That’s what attracts brains. Because we can work all the time, but we need another way to exercise and energize our bodies and our minds.”
According to Cecil, Durham County contributed a $20 million investment, RTP companies contributed $10 million, and RTF contributed $50 million.
“This is truly a team effort and this type of vision can only be accomplished through quality partnerships and leadership in our unique communities,” said Commissioner Brenda Howerton, Chair of the Durham Board of County Commissioners, in her remarks.
Howerton also said the site is going to be an “awesome area” that the community can be “proud of.”
“With this investment, we are able to provide these public amenities so that all Durham and the Triangle residents can come to the Hub RTP and enjoy with of what they have to offer,” said Howerton.
According to Trapp, RTF will release a new Hub website “very soon” for anyone who wants to follow the project.
THE HUB: A MAP
(Thumbnail Photo by Sarah Glova)
Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire