Durham Innovation District Unveils New Life Science and Tech Buildings

By Durham Chamber of Commerce / Published 07.26.16
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The Durham Innovation District (Durham.ID) will soon include two new mixed-use buildings, leaders from Longfellow Real Estate Partners, Duke University, Measurement Inc. and Duda|Paine Architects announced.

Fast facts:

  • The buildings – focused primarily on office and technology use, but also including retail and restaurants – will be located on Morris Street between Hunt and Roney in what is currently a large parking lot.
  • Each building – known as North and South – will reach seven stories, totaling nearly 350,000 square feet. Renderings are available here.
  • A new eight-story, architecturally screened parking deck will be constructed behind the buildings, accessible from the south and east sides of Roney Street, accommodating approximately 1,200 vehicles. The deck will offer supplemental public parking for community events and the adjacent downtown farmer’s market.
  • Construction is slated to begin in Q3 2016 with completion expected in the Spring of 2018.

New Build

The announcement marks an important milestone for the award-winning Durham.ID, a 15-acre research hub and live-work-play campus that connects dynamic neighborhoods on the west side of the Bull City’s thriving downtown.

To date, execution of the master plan has primarily involved the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, such as the transformation of Carmichael Warehouse into the Triangle’s first urban located Class-A lab building and of the 1916 Imperial Building into the sleek home of the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. North and South are new buildings with a shared mission to further accommodate the burgeoning demand of innovative tenants in downtown Durham. Together, these Innovation District projects help to usher in a new era of development for the region.


Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), the largest academic research organization in the world, has signed a lease to occupy all of the office space in the South Building.

The DCRI conducts multinational clinical trials, manages major national patient registries and performs outcomes research. DCRI research spans multiple disciplines, from pediatrics to geriatrics, primary care to subspecialty medicine, and genomics to proteomics. With its new location in the South Building, DCRI will consolidate operations adjacent to its other offices in the center of innovation activity in downtown.

Longfellow is well along in the process of marketing the North Building, focusing on technology and innovation based enterprises ranging from fast growing start-ups to full building tenants.


Architects from Durham’s Duda|Paine were chosen to design Durham.ID’s North and South office buildings. The firm is headquartered just steps away from the building site, giving its architects unique insight into a project that is further energizing the growth and dynamism of downtown Durham. Design highlights include:

  • The building’s design responds to its industrial warehouse context while using innovative materials, such as metal panels and high performance glass, which speak to the the Innovation District’s forward-thinking vision.
  • A shared plaza between the buildings connects to Morris Green, which will remain a permanent open space on the corner of Fernway Avenue and Morris Street.
  • Along Morris, considered Durham.ID’s ‘Main Street,’ a continuous arcade with ground floor retail will engage the street and nurture a lively pedestrian environment.
  • The project is being designed to U.S. Green Building Building Council LEED Silver standards, seeking innovative solutions to improve our environment and the community.