The Research Foundation of NC’s Board of Directors has named Scott Levitan the organization’s new President and CEO. Levitan will be the 9th leader in RTF’s storied 59 year history; his start date will be August 1st, 2017.
“It was important in our selection process to find someone with experience not only in leading research parks, but also in multi-use real estate projects—someone who has partnered with universities, and created strong communities,” says RTF Chairman of the Board, Smedes York. “With Scott, we have an outstanding leader; we think he will do a great job.”
Levitan brings 30+ years of experience and has led several large-scale, mixed-use development projects, specializing in university-related research parks. Most recently he was the Vice President of Forest City Realty Trust and Development Director for the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins and the New East Baltimore Community. In this role, he oversaw a $1.5 billion initiative directly adjacent to The Johns Hopkins University medical campus that includes life science research and office space, residential, retail, a new public park and a community school. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for Georgia Institute of Technology, where he oversaw all real estate planning and development activities for the Institute. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of Technology Square, a 1.6 million-square-foot institutionally sponsored but privatized development initiative in Midtown Atlanta.
“This is a dream job and amazing opportunity,” says Levitan. “RTP has all the right ingredients—a smart talent pool, a low cost of living, top-tier research universities, engaged staff and community partners, and some of the most innovative companies in the world—to continue growing, transforming, and providing a positive impact to our state and to society at large.”
One of Levitan’s top priorities will be to drive Park Center, RTP’s mixed-use redevelopment project, forward. Park Center is a 100 acre parcel located in the center of RTP’s 7000 acres, and will be the first place within RTP that has a walkable, amenity rich community. Current plans call for residential, retail, office, hotels, public parks, and more. In October 2015, RTF received a commitment of $20 million in a public/private partnership agreement with Durham County for the project, and an additional $10 million commitment from the Durham-Wake Counties Research and Production Service District. Levitan will aid the RTF Development Committee in the selection of a developer, or developers, to begin residential and retail vertical development at the site.
“We have put together a strong vision and plan for the future of RTP,” says York. “And now, we have a leader who we believe can help us write RTP’s next successful chapter.”
In addition to his work experience, Levitan holds a master’s degree in urban design from Harvard University, a master’s in conservation studies from the University of York in York, England, and a bachelor’s in architecture from Louisiana State University. He is active in a number of real estate industry organizations, including the Association of University Research Parks, where he has served on its Board and taught an annual “BioParks 101” seminar.
About The Research Triangle Park
The Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina serves the Research Triangle Park, a bellwether institution that was once referred to by Governor Luther Hodges as the “heart and hope of North Carolina.” Situated centrally among Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, RTP contains 7,000 acres, 48,000+ employees, and over 250 companies, including Biogen, Cisco Systems, Credit Suisse, Fidelity Investments, IBM, and RTI International. RTP is also home to The Frontier, a community convening destination at Park Center; and The Lab, an affordable option for wet lab and office space.
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Research Triangle Foundation of NC