What do all of those things have in common? It’s the size of RTP’s land mass. To put it in a local perspective, imagine the distance from South Saunders to North Hills in Raleigh or from I-85 north of Durham to I-40 and Southpoint Mall. That’s a pretty substantial distance!
In our last planning session, the consultants painted a mental picture for us by comparing RTP to Raleigh, Durham, and Manhattan. When you visualize the density of Manhattan juxtaposed against the green space of the Park, you quickly realize that there is a significant opportunity within the Park. We are cognizant of the fact that RTP will never be Manhattan, but the Park has a substantial amount of land whose use should be re-thought to be utilized to its fullest potential. The end result of the Master Plan will be to recommend the creation of unique and compelling land use opportunities that are complementary to our region and urban partners.
The timeline for the Master Plan is scheduled to last 12 months, which is divided into three phases: discovery, plan development, and creation of the Master Plan. We are currently in the discovery phase (and sticking to the timeline so far!) and have gained fascinating insight about the Park based on the physical, economic, and market analysis that has been conducted thus far. You’re probably asking yourself, so what exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, it means we are in the process of having lots and lots of meetings. We’ve had meetings on everything ranging from transit challenges to watersheds that run through the Park. Because of the true scope of the Park and the project we are undertaking, our team and the consultants are working not only with the Master Plan Task Force and RTP Board, but also current and former owners & tenants, a group of regional municipal planners through the CORE Group (Center of the Region Enterprise), local university leaders, and representatives from Durham and Wake Counties, among others.
As the discovery phase comes to a close, we are looking forward to learning about the findings at a work planning session with our Board and Task force in early December.
As we go through this process, we want your feedback as well. So please tell us, what would you do with 7,000 acres?