Did you know that the largest research park in the United States is located right here in the Triangle? The Research Triangle Park (RTP), founded in 1959 by local leaders in academia, government, and business, is a 7,000 acre center of global innovation that houses hundreds of companies in the tech and science sector. RTP was originally named for its affiliation with three major research universities, Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. It was intended to move the economy of North Carolina away from tobacco and furniture, and into modern industries. RTP is equidistant to Raleigh and Chapel Hill while being conveniently located only 4 miles from downtown Durham. The majority of the campus is situated in Durham County, with portions extending into Wake County. RTP is a major driver for the growing workforce and business climate in the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area.
What makes the high-tech cluster in RTP unique is that much of the success of attracting companies to the area has been attributed to the collaboration of local government officials, the universities in the surrounding areas, and business leaders in the area. Originally designed to create economic opportunity in North Carolina as more traditional industries declined after World War II, today the park has been successful in attracting many major companies in both tech and life sciences, which includes over 250 companies and over 500,000 full-time workers. While this area was originally home to mostly larger firms like IBM, the park has also become the home to various high-tech startups, which further fuels the culture of progress and collaboration that is central to the continued development of the campus as a whole.
In addition to being a hub of commercial real estate, RTP is continually adding spaces for after-work and weekend dining and entertainment. Recently opened Boxyard RTP is a space for local vendors to sell food, drinks, clothing, and more, along with nightly entertainment including live music, game nights, fitness classes, and comedy shows. The entire space is constructed from shipping containers and was created to give the highly skilled workers in RTP a place to connect, network, brainstorm, relax, and enjoy life. RTP is also minutes from dining, shopping, breweries, and other amenities in northwest Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Morrisville.
An important consideration that many people moving to the Triangle may need to make is their commute to and from RTP, as it is a massive employment hub for both current and future residents. Traffic both to and from the campus can be challenging during rush hour, so it is important to also consider lifestyle factors, such as school zoning, homesite size preference, drive times to all important amenities for the family, along with a preference for proximity to nightlife or a quiet neighborhood. Working with an experienced realtor who is highly knowledgeable about the area surrounding RTP and the changes that have been occurring as the Raleigh-Durham area has grown over the past several years is the best way to find a home that is perfect for a homeowner’s lifestyle, especially for high tech talent that may not be familiar with the various parts of the Triangle.