The evolved university research park – the research village (pt. 1)

We’re all familiar with university research parks – they look just like suburban office parks, and yes, prospective workers avoid choosing such places (no one lives there) because they’re not about to sacrifice two hours of their daily life to commuting, much less the additional time it takes to get to any form of authentic entertainment.

Well, that was in the days of the industrial economy, and in the knowledge economy we’ll start to see places like the University of South Carolina’s Innovista, a 200-acre live, work, play university research urban village located in the heart of the city of Columbia. In fact, in many ways it will help enhance the perception of Columbia as a true city as the development is integrated into the city’s downtown fabric and scale and provides the kind of housing, office space, entertainment and recreation that attracts the creative class, entrepreneurs and knowledge workers, not to mention graduating students.

At build-out:
– 8 million s.f. of office, retail and residential (3000 residences)
– Projected to create 8700 jobs
– Boost to the economy of $1.35 billion.

Do you think your major city would benefit from those numbers?

Tomorrow – why Innovista is a model for university research parks, which from here on out should probably be referred to as university research villages.