Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Inmar helps bring pieces together at Winston-Salem research park

Something big is happening in Winston-Salem. Something special, a possible game changer. Something that has the potential not just to help revitalize that city’s downtown area but reinvent it.

I’m talking about the Piedmont Triad Research Park, and before you ask, “what’s new about that?,” let me acknowledge that I recently gained a new appreciation for the significance and unique opportunity it represents, and how the pieces are coming together. And that was before Inmar Inc., the fast-growing technology company, confirmed Tuesday that it plans to relocate to a renovated R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company building in PTRP and bring 900 employees with it.

I had the opportunity last week to tour PTRP’s most recently completed project — Wake Forest Biotech Place. Suffice to say it is an amazing building. The developer basically took an old R.J. Reynolds building and turned it into a beautiful facility now home to several departments of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine as well as a number of private technology companies.

The building is also equipped with state-of-the-art wet labs, classrooms and meeting spaces. The centerpiece, quite literally, is a five-story, glass-roofed atrium, that opens up the place and lets natural light pour in. It’s the kind of stylish, hip but totally functional facility you might expect to find in Boston or Silicon Valley.

More importantly, though, I really got a chance to see how the building fits into the larger puzzle that is PTRP. True enough, Biotech Place, with 242,000 square feet of leasable space, adds to several facilities already in PTRP. But now, especially with Inmar coming in to take over much of the structures composed by Reynolds buildings Nos. 90-3 and 90-1A, one can really start to see a critical mass taking shape. Read more.

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