As the D.C. metropolitan area continues to rise through the ranks of scientific and tech powerhouses, it has proven to be an area brimming with top talent, and companies are taking notice. Corporations like Boeing and Raytheon Technologies have announced plans to relocate their headquarters to the area, sparking interest from other companies across the country.
Home to several of the nation’s top universities, there is no shortage of young, educated professionals in the D.C. area looking to dive into science and tech careers. The University of Maryland, which produces thousands of science and tech graduates each year, reported that 74% of UMD graduates are employed in the D.C. metropolitan area post-graduation.
To foster the strong connection between D.C-area businesses and young talent from the region’s prestigious academic institutions, Brandywine Realty Trust and Terrapin Development Co. have unveiled plans for Discovery Point, a $300M mixed-use development that combines innovation, business and community.
“As a company, we have excelled in creating high-quality, innovative ecosystems that capitalize on nearby universities and their research programs,” said John Norjen, senior vice president and managing director at Brandywine Realty Trust. “We see it as Brandywine’s role to bring a first-class space and amenitized environment adjacent to campus that can foster the University of Maryland’s research work and collaborative culture.”
Brandywine Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, that owns, develops, manages and leases an urban-focused portfolio. Based in Philadelphia, the firm’s portfolio totals more than 24M SF across the mid-Atlantic region and the greater Austin, Texas, area.
Discovery Point will feature 550K SF of Class-A workspace for small businesses, corporations and startups in the research, life sciences, tech and financial sectors. It will also include retail spaces and between 200 and 250 multifamily units to create a blended living and working experience for young professionals. Connected to the greater D.C. area through the Yellow and Green Metro lines as well as the future Purple Line light rail, Discovery Point rests at the corner of accessibility and innovation.
The University of Maryland’s existing research park, Discovery District, encourages students, graduates and other young professionals to work in College Park, and Terrapin Development was looking for a signature development that would physically link the UMD main campus to the Discovery District.
“Whether it’s Austin, Boston or D.C., the universities in these cities are at the heart of technological and scientific innovation,” said Ken Ulman, president of Terrapin Development Co. “Solving today’s challenges requires forward-thinking from young professionals on campus and in surrounding communities where faculty, staff and students work with private sector companies, startups and innovators.”
There are more than 6,500 people who already work in the Discovery District, with hundreds more expected once Discovery Point is completed. The research park is home to more than 60 Fortune 500 companies, startups and federal agencies, including IONQ, Adobe and Capital One.
Norjen said Brandywine quickly recognized the vibrant energy of the companies at the Discovery District and knew that other companies would show increased interest in the area due to the easy accessibility to top talent.
Location has always been vital for business, Norjen said. But now, the race to attract and retain talent is more competitive than ever.
Ulman said that there are two types of tenants Discovery Point is looking to attract, offshoots of UMD labs and tech companies of all sizes. Busy students and faculty work in labs on campus every day, and Discovery Point makes it easy for them to move across the street and start a company while still having access to university resources and facilities, he said.
“In this country, we have a shortage of tech talent,” Ulman said. “No matter what industry you’re in, every company needs tech talent to stay competitive and agile. UMD has the most computer science graduates of any university in the U.S. If companies are looking for tech talent, Discovery Point should be ground zero for them.”
Jerry Kilkenny, vice president of leasing at Brandywine, said what sets this development apart from the rest is that it will act as a talent pipeline for students and young professionals looking to get ahead in their careers and make change happen. Discovery Point combines the familiarity of a college campus with the amenities of a modern professional environment.
“We’re delighted to accelerate the University of Maryland’s innovation and technology through physical space,” said Jerry Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust. “Discovery Point’s dynamic, open network of spaces developed by our world-class architecture, design and planning teams will encourage collaboration and help connect the university’s community with growing private ventures of all sizes and further advance their missions.”
This article was produced in collaboration between the Brandywine Realty Trust and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.
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