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Grubb Properties Welcomes UNC-Chapel Hill Innovation Hub

Hub will join BioLabs as anchors in downtown Chapel Hill innovation district

CHARLOTTE, NC (April 8, 2022) – Grubb Properties is pleased to announce that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s innovation hub will come to its 136 E Rosemary building, driving more economic growth downtown and creating opportunities for valuable collaboration.

The move is a significant step forward in the shared vision for a new innovation district in downtown Chapel Hill. Grubb Properties has significantly renovated and repositioned the 137 E Franklin | 136 E Rosemary building in pursuit of this vision, and is also developing a new seven-story building with office and laboratory space at 150 E Rosemary.

“The redesigned 136 E Rosemary provides the perfect location at the nexus of campus and community,” said Joe Dye, executive vice president of commercial development for Grubb Properties “Developing these modernized, high-amenity locations is essential to creating the innovation district that will drive collaboration and help Chapel Hill nurture these entrepreneurial companies.”

The university’s innovation hub will take approximately 20,000 square feet of space in the building, and will be home to Innovate Carolina, the university’s central team that provides guidance, tools, and resources to support people and organizations both on campus and in the community pursuing innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development. It joins BioLabs, a provider of fully equipped lab and co-working space, which signed a lease for the entire third floor, over 21,400 square feet, in the fall of 2021.

Grubb Properties has been working with the Town of Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on revitalizing downtown by providing improved and attractive office space and needed infrastructure upgrades. The office buildings, located in an Opportunity Zone, are part of Grubb Properties’ Link Apartments OZ REIT fundraising vehicle.

The Opportunity Zone program offers additional benefits to businesses located in the building. Because of the Opportunity Zone program’s tax structure, businesses can have lower cost to access capital – something that is particularly important for start-ups.

“136 E Rosemary is the perfect location for innovators and entrepreneurs, not only due to the top minds and resources that Chapel Hill has to offer, but also due to the site’s Opportunity Zone designation,” said Will Partin, vice president at Grubb Properties. “The ability for companies and investors alike to benefit from the tax advantages of Opportunity Zones can have a significant financial impact, especially in high-growth sectors such as life sciences and biomedical engineering.”

The East Rosemary redevelopment project also includes construction of a new town-owned 1,100-space parking deck at 125 East Rosemary, which is underway and expected to be completed in early 2023.

About Grubb Properties

Grubb Properties, founded in 1963, is a vertically integrated real estate fund manager focused on creating exceptional real estate environments. It provides premier customer service for residents in Essential Housing through its Link ApartmentsSM brand, and for tenants through new and reimagined office environments. Grubb Properties maintains a long-term perspective and its careful and measured approach to real estate investment has delivered resilient and impressive returns. Grubb Properties has received numerous sustainability designations and recognitions, and undergoes annual ESG assessments through GRESB. For more information, visit

Grubb Properties’ CEO Clay Grubb is the author of the book “Creating the Urban Dream: Tackling the Affordable Housing Crisis with Compassion.”

Media Contact: Emily Ethridge, Corporate Communications Director,, (704) 405-5148


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