GREENVILLE, North Carolina - A state-of-the-art innovation campus being developed in North Carolina will be the first of its kind nationwide. Leasing for Intersect East, a public-private partnership between East Carolina University and Elliott Sidewalk Communities, has begun as construction is expected to start by the end of 2021. The unprecedented campus will utilize historic buildings and warehouse space on 19 acres at the corner of Evans and Tenth Streets in downtown Greenville.
“Intersect East will be the nation’s first Pacesetter Innovation Hub,” said developer Tim Elliott. “We’ll have an urban, mixed-use campus product downtown that integrates research, industry, housing, culture, and office space all in one package.”
Elliott is the managing partner and chief visioneering officer for Elliott Sidewalk Communities. As the lead developer and project manager for Intersect East, he is eager to see how this project can impact economic development in the eastern region of North Carolina.
“Greenville has incredible assets. There is a university that’s 30,000 students strong, a medical research institution, several pharmaceutical corporations, a regional airport, abundant access to waterways, not to mention plenty of room to grow,” said Elliott. “Intersect East will be the development project that brings all of these economic assets together in harmony.”
The concept of a Pacesetter Innovation Hub will create a vibrant and innovative environment that marries academia, business, and downtown living. The partnership between ECU and Elliott Sidewalk Communities expands ECU’s innovation and research campus, commonly referred to as the millennial campus. Merrill Flood, the director of millennial campus planning and local community affairs for ECU, works as part of the team that leads efforts to develop the network for the university’s innovation campus. He says Intersect East is being strategically planned as an area that stimulates discovery, innovation, and collaboration by ECU faculty, staff, and students with businesses, industries, and other partner organizations located within Greenville and eastern North Carolina.
“Innovation campuses extend the knowledge and talent of universities into the community to continue servicing the area and solving the challenges faced by the partners identified,” explained Flood. “This campus will continue to transform and prepare Greenville and the surrounding region for the future in the areas of research, advanced manufacturing, workforce development, and talent retention.”
The millennial campus, along with Intersect East, will focus on commercializing research discoveries that benefit regional industries. The campuses feature state-of-the-art labs and collision spaces that foster interaction and stimulate new ideas.
“Innovation campus developments serve as catalysts that grow economic opportunity and prosperity in communities where located,” said Flood. “Intersect East will attract economic investment from industries and businesses that seek to advance their specific product through innovative design and discovery.”
Across the intersection from Intersect East is ECU’s newest facility, a $90 million building dedicated to life sciences. The 141,500-square-foot Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building features four stories with wet bench and computational laboratory spaces for researchers across a variety of academic disciplines.
“The adjacency and proximity will result in shared innovations in the areas of advanced manufacturing and transfer of technologies between the Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building and Intersect East campus,” said Flood. “The two areas are tactically placed to promote collaboration to outside partners of ECU in a true urban campus network environment.”
According to ECU, the ultramodern building will be home to the university’s department of biology with researchers and experts in the fields of biotechnology, bioprocessing, biophysics, biofuels, imaging and sensor development, and environmental engineering.
“This unique public-private partnership is where investment meets development,” said Brad Hufford, vice president of business development at the Greenville Eastern North Carolina (ENC) Alliance. “Having this type of R&D space in our community will help us market Greenville to industries around the world.”
The Greenville ENC Alliance is an economic development organization focused on attracting new business, additional investment, and higher paying jobs to Greenville and Pitt County. The organization targets the advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and medical device/supplies industries due to the area’s existing workforce, resources, and cost structure that allow them to prosper and succeed.
“The vision for Intersect East will put Greenville on the map for office headquarters and laboratory projects that historically have not looked at our community,” said Hufford.
The Greenville ENC Alliance’s business development team is currently working with Elliott Sidewalk Communities to find tenants for more than 875,000 square feet of space for Class A office, light manufacturing, and research and development.
“Intersect East will build off of the history of tobacco in our community and demonstrate the transition to the science and high-tech jobs of the future,” shared Hufford. “We’re looking forward to assisting with the placement of tenants in this dynamic and one-of-a-kind space.”
Phase 1, which is now leasing, includes the Prizery, Stemmery, and Hammock Factory buildings. Just outside their doors will be on-site dining options, as well as a green space that fosters community and promotes innovation exchange. The Prizery is a one-story building with 72,000 square feet of Class A office/mixed-use space. Nearby is the Stemmery, offering two floors of Class A office space that totals 32,000 square feet. The Hammock Factory is a one-story building that includes 12,000 square feet of premium office space. Looking ahead to Phase 2, Station East will be available to pre-lease in January 2022. This four-building industrial property space is a combined 103,000 square feet. Additionally, Station East has an outdoor green space and walkable options to grab coffee, breakfast, and lunch.
“Intersect East is unique in that this isn’t just a space for white lab coats. We believe that there are champion regional businesses that will benefit from this innovative and convenient location,” said Elliott. “In the eastern North Carolina region, we’re not yet known for our research and innovation. That’s all about to change thanks to Intersect East in Greenville’s center city area.”
The site connects ECU to the bustling Dickinson Avenue Arts District, which has several more historic buildings and local landmarks. Along with office and research space, Intersect East also has luxury living options, restaurants, markets, and generous green spaces that offer gracious and convenient living.
“In addition to the industry aspect, we add in the concepts of where you live, where you work, where you learn, and where you play. This will allow Intersect East to differ from other innovation campuses in North Carolina and along the East Coast,” shared Elliott. “While others focus solely on work, we have so much more in Greenville. This is where work meets urbanity, greenery, and entertainment – just a few steps away from Intersect East.”
To learn more about Intersect East and potential leasing opportunities, visit its website: www.intersecteast.com
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