Thursday, June 4, 2009
CONTACT: Mike Davis 919-821-3928

Plans for sustainable, mixed-use, urban development in Apex announced

Apex Mayor cites potential $ 6 billion addition to town's tax base; Developer calls Veridea "next generation version of Research Triangle Park"

APEX, North Carolina -- Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly Thursday announced the proposed development of Veridea - a sustainable, mixed-use urban community to be constructed on 1,000 acres within the Town of Apex in Southwestern Wake County.

Veridea developer and Wake resident Tom Hendrickson submitted this week a Sustainable Development Plan for the triangle-shaped site which is bounded by the major thoroughfares of U.S. 1, NC 55 and the future Western Wake Freeway. If approved by the Apex Town Council, this new plan "will enable development of this large and significantly situated area in our community in accordance with an innovative plan achieving sustainability while maximizing the efficient use of land," Mayor Weatherly said.

Weatherly said that Veridea is projected in the next 10 to 15 years to increase the Town of Apex's tax base by almost $ 6 billion, well more than doubling Apex's current property tax base. "We understand it could become the economic generator of more than 30,000 jobs when completed," added the Mayor, "and would create what planners call a "live - work - play" urban, mixed-use environment, that will be a national and international model of sustainable design and construction." ( more ) Veridea announced.

Hendrickson said that his vision is for Veridea to become "the next-generation version of the world-renowned Research Triangle Park (RTP)." With the expected 2012 completion of the Western Wake Freeway, Veridea will be less than 12 minutes from RTP. Hendrickson said that over time, "Veridea will be home to a forward-thinking community that seeks to accomplish objectives similar to those of the existing RTP, but within the context of a contemporary, ecologically friendly, sustainable mixed-use development."

"We are planning Veridea as a truly pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented community unlike anything that exists today," Hendrickson added.

Bill Holman, former Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said that "Tom Hendrickson's vision for Veridea embodies the green and sustainable goals that many of us in the environmental community have been advocating for years."

The Town of Apex is being requested to approve eventual construction of 10 million square feet of office development, 3.5 million square feet of mixed-use retail and commercial space, 2 million square feet of high-tech manufacturing and 8,000 residential units.

Upon adoption of the Veridea Sustainable Development Plan, further design and permitting will continue into 2010, with the first phase of $50 to $60 million of core infrastructure scheduled in 2010-11.

Ken Atkins, Executive Director of Wake county Economic Development, pointed out that more and more companies are interested in locating within an urban footprint developed with a sustainable concept at its core and implemented to create a 'live-work-play' environment. "Veridea appears to be just what many companies will be looking for the in the future," Atkins said. "Because of Veridea, we will have an even greater opportunity to attract more of these high-wage-based jobs to the Triangle."

"From an economic developer's perspective," added Atkins, "the plans for Apex announced this week are very, very exciting."