Bullish on ag tech, Alexandria creating R&D 'mega campus' in RTP

Barry Teater, NCBiotech Writer:  Already a major landlord in the Research Triangle Park, California-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities is developing a unique multi-tenant research and development campus in the Research Triangle Park to drive North Carolina’s global leadership in agricultural biotechnology.

The campus, called the Alexandria Center for AgTech – RTP, is located at 3054 East Cornwallis Road on the former site of Syngenta, which consolidated its operations at a new campus elsewhere in the Park. Through an affiliate, Alexandria acquired the 20-acre Syngenta site with five buildings and greenhouses for $8.75 million, according to tax records.

The first phase of the project is to redevelop the site into 175,000 rentable square feet of office, laboratory and greenhouse facilities and a “highly curated amenities center designed to foster innovation, drive productivity and enhance collaboration,” Alexandria said in a news release. Amenities will include a conference and event space, a fitness and wellness center, a “healthy restaurant concept,” open green space and an on-site garden.

The campus already has two initial tenants: AgTech Accelerator Corp., an Alexandria-sponsored incubator that discovers, develops, funds and manages new ag tech companies, and Boragen, an Accelerator-backed company that is developing next-generation fungicides for plant agriculture.

Other companies are lined up to move into the campus, along with “a laundry list of people who have expressed interest, so we’re pretty optimistic,” said Joel Marcus, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities and chairman and founder of AgTech Accelerator Corp.

“There is no place for high-quality ag tech companies to move into plug-and-play, turnkey R&D facilities coupled with greenhouses,” Marcus said in a telephone interview. “It doesn’t exist in a multi-tenant fashion with an amenitized campus. It doesn’t exist either in the RTP region or frankly across the country.”  Full Article:

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