Research Triangle Park

For the Research Triangle Foundation in North Carolina, HR&A worked with a multidisciplinary team to create a master plan for the next 50 years of Research Triangle Park’s growth, advising the team on a real estate strategy and on the economic impact of the Park on the region.

Research Triangle Park was the first and most prestigious of its brand of science and technology research parks. Created in 1959 with the support of state and local economic development agencies and the three major universities nearby, the Park catalyzed high-tech employment growth in the region and set the standard for research parks comprised of corporate campuses in a park-like setting.

As part of its work, HR&A:

  • Assessed the sectoral growth opportunities at the Park and in the region, and the physical needs and priorities of companies and workers in those sectors;
  • Based on those physical criteria, informed creation of a master plan for the next generation of park development, including the introduction of a vibrant and sustainable mixed-use district;
  • Evaluated the local real estate market to determine the financial feasibility of new construction and supporting infrastructure; and
  • Recommended a development strategy and business plan for the Foundation to advance the introduction of new uses and infrastructure that will help the Park continue to act as an engine of regional economic growth.

In parallel, HR&A undertook a comprehensive assessment of the economic and fiscal impact of the Park, using longitudinal employment data to determine the Park’s role in generating high-technology employment throughout the Research Triangle region. The study estimated the economic and fiscal impact of this employment, including direct, indirect and induced impacts. HR&A also calculated additional economic benefits including private industry investment, entrepreneurship and the creation of an innovation economy. As the master plan evolved, HR&A expanded its economic assessment to estimate the impact of the regulatory changes and additional development envisioned in the Plan.


HR&A served as an advisor to the Foundation as it worked to implement the Plan. HR&A assisted the Foundation in working with tenants and land owners to facilitate land assemblage for mixed-use development clusters within the Park. HR&A also worked with the Foundation to identify development partners for plan implementation, and to negotiate and structure associated agreements. In September 2014, the Foundation entered into an agreement with Hines to advance the first phase of development.

Images Courtesy of: Grimshaw Architects