It’s been a year since Research Triangle Park announced the expansion plans that will convert it from a daytime destination for high tech workers to a 24/7 live-work-play community for all sorts of Triangle workers and residents.
September 20, 2016
RTP’s The Frontier: A Testing Ground for 11 Entrepreneurial Endeavors
As it prepares to expand The Frontier to a second building, we look back at the entrepreneurial activities launched or supported by the RTP "experiment."
But while planning for the mixed-use development called Park Center continues on, momentum has built around The Frontier. Envisioned as a testing ground for Park Center, the former IBM building has become a hub of creativity and entrepreneurial activity with four floors of co-working, event and office space nearly built out and fresh plans to add a second building to the campus. Demolition has begun just across the street on the 600 building (see renderings above), and more office workers will move there in 2017.
In the meantime, we’re looking at the various programs that have already found a home at The Frontier, organizations or events that have helped exceed RTP’s expectations for what could be made out of an aging building in a once obsolete portion of the 7,000-acre park.
Here they are:
Founder Ben Greene’s successful 2014 Kickstarter campaign helped make his dream of creating an urban farm out of old shipping containers into reality. After mini-Farmery experiments on the American Tobacco Campus in Durham and The City Farm in downtown Raleigh and participation in a San Francisco accelerator, The Farmery has a permanent home at The Frontier and is open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch, as well as catering and delivery.
The Farmery uses a growing system called Crop Box that was developed in partnership with Wilmington-area greenhouse manufacturer Williamson Greenhouses. In a 40-foot box, The Farmery grows the equivalent of an acre of greens, lettuces, herbs and mushrooms. Crop Box is becoming its own business too—based out of Williamson’s home base in Clinton, NC.
Park Center’s development could mean these buildings may eventually be demolished in favor of state-of-the-art structures, but for now, they’re serving the community’s need for flexible, affordable and creative space to dream up and launch new projects, companies and endeavors.