The Suburban Office Park, an Aging Relic, Seeks a Comeback

Posted on November 25, 2019


When Research Triangle Park in North Carolina opened in 1959, its bucolic setting was considered a major selling point. With office buildings hidden behind grassy meadows and swaths of pine forest, the quiet development was viewed as a perfect spot for the thinkers who went to work at companies like IBM and RTI International.

But tastes have changed, and in an effort to keep up, Research Triangle Park — the country’s largest corporate research park — is finally changing as well.

Plans to redevelop a portion of the park, which have been pending for eight years, are now moving forward. In a few years, Research Triangle Park, which lacks even a coffee shop within its 7,000 acres, will be home to restaurants, bars, shops and apartments.

The development’s challenges echo those of other suburban office parks around the country. Over the past decade, younger workers have come to favor urban environments that contain a variety of services and transportation options, a shift that has reduced the popularity of large, cloistered office settings.

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