Treehouse to roller rink: A look at Parmer RTP's $80M overhaul of former GSK campus

Treehouse to roller rink: A look at Parmer RTP's $80M overhaul of former GSK campus

Source: Triangle Business Journal
Author: Ben Graham

The first significant change Karlin Real Estate made after acquiring the 20-building GlaxoSmithKline campus in Research Triangle Park last year was to rip up the gates that had guarded the pharmaceutical giant’s offices and labs for decades.

Today, all that remains of the once-walled off entrance just off T.W. Alexander Drive is an empty guard booth – but even that won’t be around much longer.

Bart Olds, Karlin’s 36-year-old head of asset management, plans to transform the shack into a drive-through coffee shop, where workers can pick up a latte as they pull into the suburban campus in the morning.

The café is just a small part of a much larger $80 million overhaul led by Olds aimed at breathing new life into the aging campus. He envisions multiple companies filling out the empty offices and lab space, connected by pathways and parks and pickleball courts, a process he calls “de-single-tenanting” the campus that for so long belonged to just one company.

That kind of multi-tenant environment is something Olds is familiar with from the West Coast, where Karlin is headquartered, and the firm’s work in Austin, Texas, where it has developed a 400-acre campus anchored by General Motors.

Whether companies will be on board with a new model of office campus in RTP’s antiquated suburban layout is another question. “It’s where your dad went to work,” Olds says of the park. That’s an image he’d like to change.

Making the park a destination for young tech workers is no easy task when the most immediate comparisons are the fast-growing downtowns of Raleigh and Durham, where new restaurants and bars seem to be cropping up every month.

The Research Triangle Foundation has been looking to urbanize the park for years with its Park Center project, but that process hasn't gotten off the ground just yet. Downtowns create "amenitized" space organically, says Neill Sherron, director of leasing at Longfellow Real Estate Partners.

That's what RTP landlords are trying to copy. Longfellow acquired the 142,726-square-foot Venture Center in Durham two years ago and used a $21.9 million loan to fund the construction of new shared space, with patios, fire pits and lawn chairs. It's all about attracting workers. “We want the tenants that lease space from us to be able to offer the best amenities possible to help recruit and retain the top talent," Sherron says.

The difference with Parmer RTP is the scale; the campus totals 1.75 million square feet. Olds is betting the changes coming to the campus, both inside and out, will be enough to take Karlin's corner of RTP, and perhaps the park itself, in that direction.

A significant portion of the overhaul involves building an “amenity center” between the northern and southern segments of the campus. The circular paved space will include a food truck promenade and covered seating, with room for concerts and bocce ball courts. Construction will begin in the coming weeks.

Nearby, Olds has plans for a treehouse with glass walls, creating an outdoor conference room space. The estimated cost: nearly $1 million.

Work has already wrapped up on a multi-sport athletic field complex. Olds would like to see an intramural sports leagues setup, where GSK employees could play the Credit Suisse basketball team during lunch.

Inside, Karlin has begun revamping old offices and lab space and adding new life to lobbies and other shared space. That means reclaimed-wood walls and new televisions, conference rooms and arcade games.

The firm’s ambitions exceed just the Parmer campus. In the past eight months, the company has also sunk more than $14 million into the acquisition of the 44-acre Dupont campus and 94-acre Ellis Research Center, rebranding the sites as Parmer 14 and Parmer Ellis, respectively.

Combined, the land, buildings and renovations represent a quarter billion-dollar investment in a one-mile radius, Olds says. The wager has already had some early returns; LabCorp signed a lease for 220,000 square feet at the campus in April.

Olds also says the firm isn't done expanding its footprint in the Triangle just yet. The company is part of Karlin Asset Management, founded in 2005 to manage the capital of Dr. Gary K. Michelson, a billionaire spinal surgeon-turned-investor. Because the firm has just one investor, it can move quickly and decisively, Olds says.

For now, the question is the more than 1 million square feet of office and lab space that still sits vacant, out of 2.4 million total.

If Apple finalizes a deal to build a new hub in the park, that space would likely become more attractive. Olds says that's something he's had in mind. “We thought it would only be a matter of time before a West Coast tech giant made a splash here,” he says. “We wanted to be on the forefront of that wave.”

Parmer Innovation Center to become mammoth employment hub in Northeast Austin

Parmer Innovation Center to become mammoth employment hub in Northeast Austin

Source: Austin Business Journal
Author: Marissa Luck

A California real estate firm is buying an abandoned, half-built apartment complex in Northwest Austin and plans to transform the decaying site into a future phase for its nearby 300-acre mixed-used project.

The move is the latest in a string of new developments at Parmer Innovation Center, a sprawling project packed with Fortune 500 companies that could eventually become yet another hub for retail, housing and office in North Austin.Karlin Real Estate wants to incorporate the 28-acre apartment property at 12600 McAllen Pass, called the IO at Tech Ridge,into Parmer Innovation Center across the street, potentially for restaurants and multifamily housing, said Matthew Schwab, managing director with Karlin.

Trammell Crow Co. is the master developer and CBRE Group Inc. handles leasing for Parmer Innovation Center, where General Motors, Home Depot, Natera Inc., Allegran and Blue Apron operates. 3M Corp. plans to move in next year.

Although Parmer Innovation Center looks like a small business park now, Schwab said Karlin wants to build out the property, which is roughly the same size as The Domain.

Karlin will pay $10.85 million as the winning bidder on the IO at Tech Ridge property in a bankruptcy court auction held earlier this month, beating out six bidders, according to federal court documents and attorney Eric Taube with Waller Landsden Dortch & Davis LLP. Taube represents the apartment owners, IO at Tech Ridge LP, who reportedly abandoned the project two years ago and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last December. Taube said construction stalled while litigation in state court proceeded.

Schwab said the deal will likely take another month to close.

In the meantime, Karlin expects construction to be complete in August on a four-story, 116,000-square-foot spec-office space in Parmer Innovation Center. Mark Emerick and John Barksdale of CBRE said they have several prospective tenants for the building, called Parmer 3.4.

Across the private road in Parmer Innovation Center, contractors are building 3M’s future Austin campus. The maker of Scotch tape and other office supplies will start moving 500 employees to the new location from Riverplace Boulevard starting in April 2019, said 3M spokeswoman Lori Anderson.

3M sold the Riverplace campus to World Class Capital in a deal that closed in February. About 125 employees will remain at 3M's separate manufacturing facility on Research Boulevard.

3M will lease about 300,000 square feet across two buildings at Parmer Innovation Center, Anderson said. However, the company is negotiating with Karlin on another 40,000 or so square feet at the 7.2 building, Emerick said.

"Innovation" is in the business park’s name for a reason — the developers want it to be an enclave for research and tech labs backed by Fortune 500 companies and other high-growth private entities. For instance, Home Depot is a tenant but doesn't sell anything from there. Instead, hundreds of tech employees work on digital innovations.

Not another boring business park

Builders don't want this to be another boring business park. Renderings of a manmade pond surrounded by restaurants, breweries and runners look more like what you might find if Jester King Brewery in Drippings Spring somehow merged with Mueller's neighborhood pond.

Located about 10 minutes east of Austin’s second downtown — The Domain — and about 15 minutes north of downtown Austin, Emerick said the team eventually wants Parmer Innovation Center to draw Domain residents on weekends to enjoy a beer, watch a concert or hang out by the 11-acre pond.

“The pond experience more than anything is the Austin, authentic, granola" element, Emerick said.

While it could be as big as The Domain if fully developed, don’t expect this to be “the next Domain.”

“We love The Domain ...but that is a very different world than what we want to create,” Emerick said.

For now, the asking rents at Parmer Innovation Center are about $20 cheaper per square foot than The Domain — which is already considerably cheaper than downtown office rates, Emerick said.

The park will grow gradually in phases to meet market demand, and it can be expanded without disrupting current occupants. Already Trammell Crow and Karlin are permitting for the 4.1 and 4.2 buildings and could complete construction as early as August 2019.

“Ideally we land more Fortune 500s that are in Austin and want to expand or that are coming into Austin... [but] we'll do anything that makes sense as the financials are solid,” Barksdale said.

Emerick said the developers have had several inquiries for hotels but they’re waiting for the right fit.

The Austin project will serve as a model for six other mixed-used business parks Karlin is building in Sacramento, the U.K. and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Each will bear “Pamer Innovation” in its title as a nod to Austin, Schwab said.

“Austin is an anchor for what we’re looking to build globally,” Schwab added. “Our whole basis behind creating Parmer Austin and Parmer Innovation Centers was the whole idea was to create an incredible experience for employees through providing highly improved and highly amenitized campuses.”

Amazon officials on an HQ2 tour of the Triangle focused on only two areas

Amazon officials on an HQ2 tour of the Triangle focused on only two areas

Source: The News & Observer
Author: Zachery Eanes

RALEIGH - When the Triangle first submitted its bid to become the second home of Amazon, it highlighted seven potential sites, spread across the region, for a potentially massive corporate campus.

But when Amazon officials visited the Triangle in late March, they were only shown sites in two areas: downtown Raleigh and Research Triangle Park.

In an interview last week in Pittsboro, Julian “Bubba” Rawl and Tim Smith — the co-owners of Preston Development and the backers of the ambitious Chatham Park project — said that its massive conglomeration of land in Chatham County was not shown to any Amazon officials.

Instead, company officials only visited sites in downtown Raleigh and RTP, Rawl said.

The N.C. Commerce Department had asked Rawl and Smith to create a proposal for HQ2 in Chatham Park for the region’s bid, the two said, but the 40-year project is too early in its development.

Currently, in its first phase of construction, Chatham Park is one of the region’s most significant developments. Around 30 minutes south of Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the entire Chatham Park development will eventually be home to 7,100 acres of housing, offices, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Chatham Park wants to attract businesses to its development, so that the project doesn't just become a bedroom community to its bigger neighbors to the north. Rawl and Smith said Apple is also considering the Triangle — though Chatham Park is not currently being considered as a possibility.

The N.C. Commerce Department, which handles economic development for the state, declined to speak about Amazon’s visit to the Triangle.

“We don’t comment on project discussions with particular companies until a site decision has been publicly announced,” said David Rhoades, communications director for the N.C. Commerce Department.

Rawl said he had no further details about the areas that were toured by Amazon.

Raleigh developer John Kane, who was part of the regional partnership that helped sell the region to Amazon, said he was not part of any tour of the region and doesn’t know what they were shown.

But Kane has floated the idea of creating a "Prime Corridor" in downtown Raleigh to create an urban campus for Amazon.

It would be the most urban setting the Triangle could offer, but it would have to be spread out in mostly disconnected segments at sites controlled by his company and by others. The corridor would stretch from Dix Park to the bustling warehouse district, cross to Peace and West streets, include Capital Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, and eventually reach North Hills, his 100-acre development of shops, offices and apartments. Connections could be made by bus.

Amazon has said it would need 500,000 square feet of space initially, before it eventually builds up to 8 million square feet of space for a potential 50,000 employees. It would be a massive amount of office space for downtown Raleigh, which is already experiencing a building boom, to absorb.

Downtown Raleigh currently has 3.7 million square feet of office inventory, with around 262,000 square feet of office space under construction, according to real estate services firm JLL. The Six Forks/Falls of Neuse submarket, which includes North Hills, currently has zero square feet under construction, though another tower built by Kane could break ground later this year.

The roomier Research Triangle Park is currently building a lot more office space than those two submarkets. It currently has 994,000 square feet of office space under construction, according to JLL.

Speculation about what parts of RTP could conceivably house Amazon often center on the 100-acre Park Center property and parts of the former GlaxoSmithKline campus. GlaxoSmithKline, once the largest real estate owner in RTP, last year sold 20 buildings, the remnants of its campus, to Los Angeles-based Parmer Innovation Centers. Parmer announced last year that it would spend $80 million to renovate the site

The Parmer complex has been mentioned repeatedly as a potential site for both Amazon and Apple, particularly California-based Apple. That's, in part, because Parmer has a connection to Apple, as it leases office space to the company in Austin.

“We would love to be considered for the opportunity,” Bart Olds, Parmer's director of asset management, said in a recent interview with The News & Observer. “We don’t have any insight into that right now. We’re hearing the same rumors everyone else has.”

If — and it's a big if — the Triangle were to land Amazon, the project would likely cause a strain on the region's transit infrastructure and housing supply: two factors the company is reportedly keenly focused on.

According to a recent report in The New York Times, Amazon officials have made public transport and housing affordability important topics on its trips to the 20 finalists for HQ2.

But another report in the Washington Post said the company was limiting its final choice to states with protections for LGBTQ people, with Amazon officials asking North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper “pointed questions” about state policies and HB2, the law that restricted transgender people’s use of public restrooms.

Speaking before those two reports came out, Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland said in an interview that he doesn't think any city has a "lock" on getting HQ2 yet.

“I think North Carolina offers any and everything that Amazon would want,” Copeland, said, adding that he doesn’t think the current state of the region's mass transit infrastructure would be a deal breaker for Amazon.

People forget “that (50,000) employees are not going to fall out of an airplane in one day, it’s over 16 years,” he said. “So, the infrastructure here, with the right of ways that have been built, the runways that are planned and starting at the airport, we are going to be adequate there in infrastructure.”

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684@zeanes

Big enough for Amazon or Apple? RTP player adds to its holdings.

Big enough for Amazon or Apple? RTP player adds to its holdings.

Source: The Herald Sun
Author: Ray GronbergCraig Jarvis

DURHAM - The Los Angeles company that owns a key piece of RTP is adding to its real-estate holdings along the Durham Freeway.

Parmer Innovation Centers announced Thursday that it's acquired the vacant Ellis Research Center at 2400 Ellis Road.

Going forward, the "office and life-science campus" will go by the name Parmer Ellis and undergo what the announcement termed "an extensive renovation to improve the building aesthetics and overhaul the buildings amenities."

The acquisition includes 360,000 square feet of building space and 94.2 acres of land. A deed recorded Thursday with Durham County confirmed that Parmer spent $8 million to buy the property from its previous owner, Texas-based Ellis DNC.

The purchase "was a logical fit for us," said Bart Olds, Parmer's head of asset management.

Parmer last June spent $110 million to buy the former GlaxoSmithKline complex, on the west side of the freeway between T.W. Alexander Drive and Ellis Road, and in November followed up by spending a further $6.5 million to secure an office complex at 14 T.W. Alexander Drive.

Those properties now go by the names Parmer RTP and Parmer 14, and between them contain nearly 2.1 million square feet of floor space. All of Parmer's holdings are easily accessible from the freeway's T.W. Alexander Drive or Ellis Road interchanges.

Research Triangle Park has come up again and again as a possibility for Amazon's second headquarters and Apple's fourth campus. Both are the subject of national site location searches. The Parmer complex, with its room to grow, would have the space for both of those giant.

Good news for the park

The Ellis Road complex "is very close to our current Parmer RTP property, and the expanse of land provides the opportunity to further expand on our already-planned amenities," Olds said. "This institutional-quality asset gives us additional potential for our Parmer RTP property as well."

Research Triangle Foundation President and CEO Scott Levitan saw the deal as good news for the park.

"It's tremendous that Parmer is willing to make the kind of investment they're making in the Triangle," Levitan said. "They've had some great leasing success in their original purchase. They're a great partner. They're collaborative and being creative about the campus. We're really pleased to have them here."

Parmer has landed Credit Suisse and LabCorp as tenants for the former GSK complex. Credit Suisse is there on a temporary basis, but LabCorp recently signed a 15-year deal to occupy about 220,000 square feet of the property.

What about Apple and Amazon?

Amazon has said that it would need at least 500,000 square feet and total site space of up to 8 million square feet for its second headquarters. It would like the site to be within 30 miles of a population center and within 45 minutes of an international airport. Apple has not provided such details.

The Parmer complex has been mentioned repeatedly as a potential site for both companies, particularly California-based Apple. That's, in part, because Parmer has a connection to Apple, as it leases office space to the company in Austin.

In a recent interview, The News & Observer asked Parmer director of asset management Bart Olds if that gives his company a leg up on the competition.

“We would love to be considered for the opportunity,” Olds said. “We don’t have any insight into that right now. We’re hearing the same rumors everyone else has.”

The six-building Parmer Business Park in Austin is fully leased to Apple and a few other firms, the Austin Business Journal reported. Austin is Apple’s largest facility outside of Silicon Valley. Its 38-acre complex on West Parmer Lane serves as the technology company’s North American operations center. Apple has about 6,500 employees there.

Officials from Amazon are said to have visited the Triangle a few weeks ago as they size up the 20 finalists for its HQ2 project.

Levitan didn't address the speculation about Amazon and Apple directly, and he noted that Parmer has worked to reshape the former GSK property as a "multiple tenant" complex that will capitalize on about $80 million in upgrades and new amenities.

"The more investment that gets made in existing properties in the park, the better we look to the world," Levitan said.

Olds doesn't rule out the possibility of more purchases nearby by Parmer.

"We will always be an opportunistic investor and developer," he said, repeating that statement when asked if the company is trying to position itself to land Amazon or Apple.

Ray Gronberg: 919-419-6648@rcgronberg

LabCorp to hire 422 as it expands into RTP

LabCorp to hire 422 as it expands into RTP

Source: The News & Observer
Author: Craig Jarvis

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK - The laboratory and drug-development company LabCorp will create 422 new jobs and invest $30 million for an operations center in Research Triangle Park, under financial incentives announced Tuesday.

The state has agreed to give the company up to $8 million in tax reimbursements over 12 years, if hiring and investment commitments are met, through the Job Development Investment Grant approved by a state committee Tuesday morning. The agreement also moves up to $2.7 million into a statewide account that helps rural communities.

Durham County has offered $220,000 in tax incentives, according to the state.

LabCorp said it has signed a 15-year lease with property owner Parmer Innovation Centers, which purchased 20 buildings in RTP last year from GlaxoSmithKline. LabCorp will lease two buildings with about 222,000 square feet of space.

In addition to the new positions, the RTP facility will house some employees of LabCorp's drug development business, who now work out of several locations in Wake and Durham counties.

The move comes as Parmer is spending $80 million to modernize the RTP campus with extensive amenities in hopes of attracting tenants. It has leased four buildings back to drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline and leased additional space to Credit Suisse.

Bart Olds, director of asset management for Parmer, said in an interview Tuesday that the company wasn't trying to build a public park; rather, it will cater to those who work there.

Not a public park

"We want people to be excited to come to work in RTP," Olds said. "RTP is a one-of-a-kind campus with all the conveniences: a gym, permanent food truck sites, outdoor meeting spaces, upgraded walking trails, places to hang out before and after work and more."

Olds has been supervising the makeover of the buildings and surrounding land with the intention of providing recreation and entertainment for the workers in an office park that does not have a place for employees to live. He said amenities have been culled from the company's experience in other centers it owns, including in Austin, Texas.

"There's a growing demand for tenants to have highly amenitized space," Olds said. "Cubicles and break rooms are not really what the modern worker is demanding. It's all about creating a work-life balance."

For Parmer's RTP site, that includes plans for a treehouse meeting space, sports, yoga sessions, food trucks, a gym, a hammock conferencing area, and an outdoor amphitheater. Olds has also thrown in shuffleboard, cornball, ping pong, a gaming area and a 40-inch, LCD, 300-game video device that is on its way from California, he said. Durham planners are reviewing the company's site plans, Olds said.

Parmer owns 1.8 million square feet at RTP. It has about 650,000 square feet of office space still available.

Close to its roots

LabCorp was founded in Burlington nearly 50 years ago, and has stayed close to its roots, company CEO and chairman David P. King said in a statement Gov. Roy Cooper's office distributed on Tuesday.

"Bringing many of our valued colleagues together at this location will enhance collaboration, and will complement our well-established diagnostic and drug development operations in RTP and the Triad."

LabCorp has close to 9,000 employees in North Carolina in multiple locations. More than 5,800 of them are in the Triad and more than 1,800 are in the Triangle. Headquarters will remain in Burlington, the company said.

The RTP site will house information technology staff that is already employed by the company, along with workers in its drug development business.

The new positions will be added over time, and will include IT designers, software developers, operations staff, and senior and middle managers. When all are hired, the payroll is expected to be $27.7 million annually.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576@CraigJ_NandO

Parmer expands RTP campus, buys DowDupont parcel

Parmer expands RTP campus, buys DowDupont parcel

Source: Triangle Business Journal

Parmer Innovations Centers has purchased a 44-acre parcel in Research Triangle Park, adding to its recently-acquired research and administration campus.

Durham County real estate records show Parmer purchased the property for $6.5 million. The 44-acre tract is home to 276,726 square feet of office, laboratory and manufacturing space, with room for expansion.

The property is located at 14 TW Alexander Drive and will be rebranded as Parmer 14. The site will be ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2018, according to a press release. Parmer purchased the property from a subsidiary of DowDupont Inc. Officials from DowDupont did not immediately return calls for comment.

In May, a subsidiary called Parmer RTP LLC purchased a nearby 20-building campus for $110 million from pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and leased 700,000 square feet of the campus’ 1.8 million square feet back to the company. The deal included 20 research, office and laboratory buildings and 470 acres. The campus was then rebranded as Parmer RTP. This latest acquisition is in close proximity to the existing Parmer campus.

Parmer RTP LLC is an affiliate of Karlin Asset Management, founded in 2005 by David A. Cohen to manage the capital of Dr. Gary K. Michelson, a spinal surgeon-turned-inventor, philanthropist and billionaire, according to federal and state records. Karlin Asset Management’s real estate branch also is a development partner at the 400-acre Parmer Austin office park in Austin, Texas, which is anchored by General Motors, The Home Depot Technology Center and Allergan, in addition to the Parmer Riata office park in Austin that is leased entirely to Apple.

Brian Carr and Lee Clyburn with CBRE Raleigh represented the buyer.

Credit Suisse signs 180,000 square foot lease for temporary space in RTP

Credit Suisse signs 180,000 square foot lease for temporary space in RTP

The new owners of the recently acquired GlaxoSmithKline office and research campus in Research Triangle Park have already landed their first big office tenant deal – even if it is short term.

Executives with Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) have signed a lease contract for close to 180,000 square feet of space in two office buildings on the former GSK campus – now called Parmer RTP – at 5 Moore Drive, company sources have confirmed.

Credit Suisse in May announced it would be expanding its technology center in Research Triangle Park with plans invest $70.5 million in the construction of a new 200,000-square-foot office building. The building would be built to accommodate 1,200 new technology, finance and risk management job positions.

But new office buildings take time to design, plan and build, and Credit Suisse’ real estate team is still in the early stages of planning. Company officials have said they plan to have the building, which will be built next to the company’s existing office building on Louis Stephens Drive, completed and ready for occupancy in 2019.

“In line with our announcement in May, Credit Suisse has leased temporary space at 5 Moore Drive in Durham County on a short term basis, while it continues to plan its development of a permanent real estate solution consisting of a new building,” Credit Suisse spokesman Thomas Baer stated in an email to Triangle Business Journal. Baer did not detail lease terms of the contract.

Credit Suisse’s Raleigh site lead, Jim Captain, says they expect the office space at Parmer RTP to be ready for employees to start moving in September, but recruitment for the new technology positions has already started.

Credit Suisse, as of June 30th, had 140 job listings posted for its RTP operations. It currently employs about 1,700 people in RTP.

GlaxoSmithKline also still employs about 2,400 people at the Parmer RTP campus. Following the sale of its buildings, the company leased back 700,000 square feet of space in four of the 22 buildings on the 1.8 million-square-foot campus.

Parmer RTP is now owned by an affiliate of California-based real estate investment firm Karlin Asset Management. CBRE-Raleigh is representing Karlin in its lease negotiations at Parmer RTP.

GSK sells RTP campus

GSK sells RTP campus

Source: Triangle Business Journal
Author: Marc DeRoberts

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has sold its 20-building campus at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park.

Parmer Innovation Partners bought the buildings and will rename it Parmer RTP. A GSK representative said the sale would have no impact on employee jobs. The company announced plans to sell the buildings in 2016.

Of the campus’ 1.8 million square feet, GSK will lease 700,000 square feet spread across four buildings it currently occupies. The company has signed a 10-year lease for the space.

In 2015, GSK cut about 1,000 jobs in the Triangle and consolidated its remaining staff and researchers in two buildings at 5 Moore Drive. It vacated seven buildings at its South Campus in RTP, which is able to accommodate about 1,300 employees, according to a marking flyer that advertised the buildings' potential. The “plug and play” campus already has a data center, a fitness center, auditorium and cafeteria, plus a lot of furniture and equipment configured for an open-floor plan. Real estate sources said Credit Suisse considered occupying a portion of the campus as it considered an RTP expansion.

Following the deal closure, Parmer said it plans to spend $80 million renovating the facilities.

Ben KilgoreLee Clyburn and Brian Carr with CBRE|Raleigh and Brian Scott of CBRE, Inc.’s New York office led the sale on behalf of GSK.

New $80M look for GSK's Triangle campus coming under ownership change

New $80M look for GSK's Triangle campus coming under ownership change

Source: WRAL TechWire
Author: WRAL TechWire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Glaxo Smith Kline's sprawling campus in Research Triangle Park is heading toward a major remodeling under new owner Parmer Innovation, which is promising "one of the most influential amenity parks in the Southeast."

Renamed Parmer RTP, the 1.8 million square feet of office space spread across multiple buildings will be upgraded through an $80 million investment.

And the drug giant will remain a major tenant, having agreed to lease some 700,000 square feet across four different buildings.

Much of that space will be occupied in the Charles Sanders Center (named after a former GSK CEO), which covers a 187,709 square foot main office facility, a 10,178 square foot recreation center, and a 3,169 square foot small office "Annex" building.

Parmer, which already operates a high-tech campus in Austin, Texas called Parmer Austin and another in the U.K., and GSK announced the deal on Friday. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed. Corporate real estate firm CBRE negotiated the deal.

"The mission is to create environments where inspired entrepreneurship and strategic forward thinking unite to create value," Parmer says of its campuses.

GSK had been seeking to sell the campus as it over the past several years scaled back on operations in RTP. The comapny still has some 3,000 workers in the Park and also maintains a manufacturing facility in Zebulon. GSK had reduced Triangle headcount as more work was either outsourced or moved to another corporate campus in Philadelphia.

Parmer is promising a "refreshed" campus that will reflect the vision of its Austin development which is home to such companies as Apple, Allergan and General Motors.

Promised future amenities for Parmer RTP include:

  • Outdoor amphitheater
  • Food truck parking lot with permanent seating and facilities
  • Upgraded nature and exercise trails throughout the campus
  • Bike share program with permanent connecting paths throughout campus
  • A grand lawn, cornhole courts, chipping and putting greens, volleyball courts
  • Unique social gathering and meeting spaces with innovative architectural design

The redevelopment will occur around GSK as an anchor tenant, which has agreed to a 10-year lease. GSK said in the announcement that the deal is a "reflection of [its] continued commitment to RTP and North Carolina."

The new-look campus will put emphasize "amenities today’s millennial worker is seeking. From permanent food truck sites and outdoor meeting spaces to upgraded walking trails and a bike share program, new amenities will be added starting this summer to create the most amenitized and unique business campus in the southeastern U.S.," Parmer explained.

Other "distinctive new amenities – that should be a big draw for RTP – will be coming," the company added

GSK sells 20-building campus in RTP, will lease 4 buildings

GSK sells 20-building campus in RTP, will lease 4 buildings

Source: News Observer
Author: John Murawski

GlaxoSmithKline, once the largest real estate owner in Research Triangle Park, has sold what’s left of its once-sprawling RTP campus and will lease back a small portion of the property where 3,000 employees and contractors work. 

The deal, involving 20 buildings, was announced late Friday by Los Angeles-based Parmer Innovation Centers, which purchased the property, and by CBRE, a Los Angeles-based real-estate advisory that represented GSK in the real estate sale. The sale price was not disclosed. 

“It’s one of the largest deals in the Triangle, without a doubt,” said Brian Carr, a senior vice-president at CBRE’s Raleigh office. “It’s certainly one of the largest transactions in the last couple of years.”

Under the deal, GSK, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, will occupy four buildings on 700,000 square feet of property in a long-term lease, with renewal options. Parmer will take over 1.1 million square feet of vacant labs, plants and other abandoned facilities.

Parmer announced that it plans an $80-million renovation to modernize the site with permanent food trucks, outdoor meeting spaces, upgraded walking trails and a bike share program to create what the company dubs “the most amenitized and unique business campus in the southeastern U.S.” 

Parmer specializes in operating mega-sized corporate parks housing multiple tenants, with sites in Austin, Texas, and in the United Kingdom. The GSK deal opens a significant tract of real estate in the region for lease. 

“It’s a lot of space,” Carr said. “That’s the largest block of space in the market.”

Glaxo and Parmer declined comment, but provided brief statements. 

“This transaction reflects a global trend at GSK toward leasing office space and shifting to modern, collaborative workspaces,” the GSK statement said. “Continuing our 30-year history, GSK remains committed to our North Carolina employees and community. The sale of the campus will have no impact on employee jobs.”

Parmer said that the RTP site will be modeled on its Austin site, which spans more some 240 acres. 

GSK, which has been rocked by periodic layoffs, had announced one year ago that it planned to sell its properties, at the time assuring employees that the sale would not foreshadow the winding down of the company’s RTP operations. GSK’s real-estate sale announcement came a year after the company had consolidated its research-and-development functions in Philadelphia, eliminating more than 1,000 positions in RTP. 

The company’s presence in RTP goes back to 1970, when predecessor company Burroughs Wellcome established a headquarters here. Another predecessor, Glaxo, moved its headquarters to RTP in 1982. The companies later merged. 

GSK employed more than 5,000 in the Triangle and remains one of the region’s largest employers. In addition to the 3,000 workers in RTP, the company employs 800 at its drug manufacturing plant in Zebulon.