44-Acre Purchase Paves Way for Durham M-F Project

Development of Phillips Research Park, a 344-residence apartment project in Durham, N.C., edges closer toward realization with Phillips Development & Realty L.L.C.’s completion of the acquisition of 44 acres of land. The parcel sits just north of the renowned 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park, the largest research park in the United States. PDR shelled out $3.8 million for the land the$30 million project will occupy, snapping up 42 acres from Len Shaffer and Bill Anderson of the Joven Group, and the remaining two from Wood Partners. Phillips Research Park will sit just across from the main entrance of the 1.6 million-square-foot North American headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline. Designed by Chancey Design Partnership, the Class A garden-style residential complex will include a 5,200-square-foot clubhouse containing amenities ranging from a library to a fitness facility. The property will also feature 20 acres of woodlands.With Research Triangle Park encompassing 24.5 million square feet in developed space and 40,000 full-time employees, there is a strong built-in demand for residential accommodations in the area. The historical average vacancy rate for apartments in Raleigh/Durham is 7 percent, according to commercial real estate research firm Reis. “We are attracted to Raleigh/Durham for broad economic reasons, for the acute base of highly-educated people, the low cost of living and the general makeup of the area,” Clifton Minsley, PDR site selection associate, told CPN today. “It’s just a great place, and we find more and more employers looking favorably at this area.” U.S. Bank will provide PDR with construction financing for Phillips Research Park. “We anticipate breaking ground this fall and wrapping up in the first or second quarter of 2010,” Minsley said. PDR, headquartered in Tampa, engages in the development of upscale residential and mixed-use real estate, focusing on smart growth and creating functional and desirable projects in urban infill area.