Biosystems company TARGAN has officially opened its new facility called the Midtown BioCenter.
Gov. Roy Cooper attended Tuesday’s ribbon cutting at 350 East Six Forks Road. It’s the first life science-focused facility in the Midtown Raleigh area.
“When you think about this company and what it has done in the life sciences, biotech field, this sector that we have concentrated on recruiting here in North Carolina, we’re proud of what you’re doing and proud to be here today,” Cooper said.
The Morrisville-based company is leasing the 100,000-square-foot building, which is the site of a former Kroger Grocery store.
The company founded in 2015 says it creates high-speed, automated systems – like vaccine systems – to humanely maximize livestock production without using chemicals or antibiotics.
“We know that biotechnology and life sciences [are] the future, not only for what you’re trying to do essentially to feed the world, but also to make sure that agriculture remains as one of our strong economic drivers in North Carolina,” Cooper said.
TARGAN CEO Ramin Karimpour echoed Cooper’s sentiments.
“North Carolina has always been a leader in agriculture, and we are continuing that tradition as TARGAN pioneers exciting new capabilities that will help feed the world in a more sustainable way, enhance protein producing animals’ standard of care, and improve producers’ bottom line,” Karimpour said. “The Triangle – specifically Raleigh – is the perfect place to grow our business, thanks to its robust life sciences industry, exceptional talent pool and varied educational institutions.
“Our new state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facility will help us push the boundaries of innovation and deliver on our promise to transform animal protein production.”
Converting the former big box retail store into a health or life-sciences building is known as “medtail.”
Raleigh is one of the top four of five rapidly rising markets in this “medtail” trend, according to commercial realtor CBRE.
A former Sam’s Club in Morrisville is being redeveloped into a hub for high-tech companies, and the abandoned K-Mart in Garner now houses the life sciences company INQ.
New construction of a site like the one on Six Forks Road would take between three to five years. The conversion was finished in about 14 months.
Lee Clyburn, an executive vice president with CBRE, says converting big-box stores provides new tenants more flexibility.
“If it’s a big open box with a good roof system and plenty of parking, you can usually upsize the facilities because there’s already something in place there,” Clyburn said. “So, it is not like starting from the ground-up construction.”