Research Triangle Park (RTP) is known as the nation’s largest research park and provides a 7,000-acre community for business, science, development, and connections between growing cities like Raleigh and Durham. Situated at one of RTP’s major gateways is “The Stitch,” a project that balanced re-use with a desire to expand amenities by redeveloping the Morrisville Outlet Mall. Kimley-Horn partnered with Equator Capital Management and architecture firm Gensler to reinvent the building and surrounding site, and the final structure’s name refers to the transparent common area that “stitches” the site together. This common space encourages gathering, collaboration, and innovation while also leveraging a robust indoor and outdoor amenity program to maximize the leasing and revenue objectives of the project.
Across from the Raleigh-Durham International airport (RDU), the site with the original building was a prime location that could support one or two tenants. Listening to the client’s revitalization priorities, Kimley-Horn and Gensler gutted the original building and focused on redesigning both the structure and site to accommodate any prospective tenants. The team developed a space that would facilitate collaboration and community, taking the project through planning and development channels with multiple stakeholders, including the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Town of Morrisville, US Army Corp of Engineers, and others.
The result is a structure with a transparent, well-lit connection area between the two sides of the building. Amenities that Kimley-Horn collaborated to develop include a yoga lawn, bocce court, outdoor dining space, creekside trail network, community garden, fitness center, and coffee shop. Our team also converted existing parking areas into tenant entry plazas and repurposed existing back of house service and loading areas into feature amenity courts, outdoor conference spaces, and tenant activity nodes. The amenities were developed as part of the campus, but they also support flexibility so tenants can adapt them according to their own needs.
“The Stitch” effectively embraces the tension between environmental and commercial elements, and our team used creative solutions to leverage the natural assets of the site and create an innovative and unique development. The effectiveness of the Morrisville Outlet Mall redevelopment project resulted in “The Stitch” winning the NAIOP 2022 NC Redevelopment Project of the Year.
After being sold by Equator Capital Managements, “The Stitch” will provide a home for the genetic testing and biotechnology company Invitae. At the gateway of such a developing area, “The Stitch” offers an opportunity for research growth and economic development in RTP, and Kimley-Horn provided these essential services for the project:
- Site design and amenity programming
- Landscape architecture
- Site civil engineering
- Environmental design and permitting
- Traffic engineering
- Parking services
- 2022 NAIOP NC Redevelopment Project of the Year