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Chapel Hill-based research company Rho moves to Research Triangle Park

Chapel Hill-based research company Rho is moving its headquarters to Research Triangle Park in Durham County. 

The new 159,000-square-foot facility is expected to be 50 percent bigger than Rho’s Chapel Hill office and will be located at the intersection of TW Alexander Drive and N.C. Highway 54, the company said in a press release.

Rho currently employs over 400 people and wanted to move its headquarters to a location that could accommodate future employee growth. The company announced last month that it will be hiring an additional 40 employees in the near future.

“Since 2013, we’ve seen more (employee) growth from the Raleigh, Apex and Morrisville area and we were looking for something with easy access to I-40 and a lot of different ways to get there,” Vice President of Corporate Services Dave Shortino said.

The company has valued the input of its employees since the start of the project, and ran focus groups and employee surveys to determine the needs of the company's staff.

“We’re designing our new office space based on our employees’ needs,” Shortino said.

Rho is collaborating with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting on the interior design of the building. Rho’s goal for the new headquarters is to include employee wellness features, such as natural light and maximized indoor air quality, according to the press release.

Contract research organizations such as Rho perform contract-based research services for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Contracts from governmental organizations like the National Institutes of Health generate much of the company’s revenue. The company was awarded a seven-year, $157.1 million contract from the NIH in 2015. 

The Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce met with Rho in an attempt to keep the company in Chapel Hill, but the town was unable to offer a site that could meet the needs of the company, said Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett.

“We have a limited supply of office space currently on the market,” Bassett said.

Charlotte-based developer The Keith Corporation is set to begin construction of the new headquarters by the end of this year. The new building is expected to open in 2019.


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