Though details will unfold as things progress, Alexandria Real Estate Equities recently announced plans to develop a multi-faceted research hub in the heart of Research Triangle Park.

The project is to start with the renovation of an existing building on Davis Drive, which Alexandria bought from The Hamner Institutes for $20 million in 2013. From there, according to California-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities CEO Joel Marcus, the 150,000-square-foot starting place is expected to encompass more than a million square feet of rental labs, offices and possibly greenhouse incubators within 10 years.

The aim is to make it a brain magnet – a core of scientific and social activity that will help RTP evolve from its legacy look of isolated pine-shrouded concrete, glass and steel corporate spaceports into a modern urban-type hive of creativity.

The real estate development company is officially calling it the Alexandria Center for Science, Technology and Agriculture – RTP, while also using the term “Alexandria Campus.”

Alexandria said the campus “fills an important need in RTP for critical infrastructure, sophisticated investment capital and creative amenities while creating a vibrant community anchored by a hub for the intersection of science, technology and agriculture.”

Alexandria Venture Investments, the strategic venture capital arm of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, said it intends to invest in MedBlue Incubator, founded by the Duke University Medical Center in 2013 to help commercialize promising new science and technology from the departments of surgery, pathology and anesthesiology.

Alexandria said it is also opening Alexandria LaunchLabs, “a unique real estate and startup ecosystem concept,” taking over an incubator setup that had been started by The Hamner on the Alexandria Campus.

Another part of the complex plan involves a biotechnology investment and management company, Alexandria Venture Investments and Accelerator Corporation. That investment and tech scouting office is to be part of the LaunchLabs site in RTP.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center