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