Charles River Becomes Second Major Tenant at Park Point in RTP
Charles River Laboratories, a large Massachusetts-headquartered contract research organization, is expanding its footprint in North Carolina.
The company plans to lease close to 70,000 square feet of space at Park Point in Research Triangle Park. It will occupy the first and second floors in the development’s three-story Edge West building. Charles River said it will house its North Carolina Oncology Center of Excellence there and will relocate its nearby Morrisville oncology operations and about 100 employees to Point Park.
The company said the expansion will allow it to add new services to support this steadily evolving therapeutic area. It plans to be up and running at the new location by the summer of 2022.
Charles River manages early-stage clinical trials and other types of medical testing for the top 100 global pharmaceutical companies. It opened its doors in 1947 with one employee – veterinarian Henry Foster – who created the company to fulfill a regional need for laboratory animals.
Today Charles River is a publicly traded business that generates close to $2.6 billion in annual revenue, employs more than 17,000 people and operates 90 sites worldwide, including three in North Carolina. In addition to Morrisville, Charles River has a presence in Raleigh and Durham.
Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., the company works with biopharmaceutical companies in the areas of basic research, discovery, safety and efficacy, clinical support and manufacturing. It says it supported the development of more than 85 percent of the drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019.
The transformation of Park Point
Park Point currently is being revitalized into office and life sciences space by Trinity Capital Advisors of Charlotte. The 100-acre, 731,000-square-foot campus is one of the largest office and warehouse complexes in RTP. It originally housed Nortel Networks, but the site deteriorated for years following that company’s demise.
Trinity Capital Advisors purchased the site at 4001 N.C. Highway 54 in Durham County for $37 million in 2019. It announced at the time that it would invest $130 million on the project to turn the vacant site into 652,000 square feet of office space, with restaurants and recreational amenities.
Another growing healthcare company – Grail, Inc. – signed on as the first tenant of Park Point last year. The California-based business develops “liquid biopsy” blood tests for early cancer detection. It plans to lease 200,000 square feet of real estate, primarily commercial lab space for sample processing.
Grail announced in June, 2020 that it would invest $103 million in North Carolina and create 400 new jobs over the next four years.