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Octavius “O” Smiley-Humphries opened residential real estate company The Smiley Group in January in the downtown coworking space Locale 321. SmileyHumphries works alongside agents Kevin McIntyre and John Tassa as well as staging and design consultant May Wahdan.

In February, Pappas Capital, an investor in early-stage life science companies, appointed Karen LeVert as a venture partner to expand the firm’s Specialized Fund Management business. LeVert is a life science tech entrepreneur who co-founded two innovation labs, Southeast

TechInventures Inc. and AgTechInventures LLC.

customized training program for the plant’s workers.

Virginia-based recruitment startup hatch I.T. opened its second office in Durham at American Underground @Main in February. Led by Chas Feuss, a graduate of UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School and founder of Artup Ventures, the startup plans to hire interns with an interest in event management and engineering.

The Florian Companies of Raleigh and partner California Commercial Investment Companies began construction on luxury townhome community Terraces of Morehead Hill in January. The townhomes, located in Morehead Hill, have three floor plan options, and each home offers a two-car garage and option for an elevator.


New York-based Lambert Development Hunt Street II LLC and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York Simpson Underwood Realty announced The Vega condominiums, a seven-story midrise located at 214 Hunt St., which is slated for occupancy in fall 2021. Designed by MHAworks with construction by Resolute Building Company, The Vega will include commercial spaces on lower levels and approximately 57 units, ranging in size from about 900 to 2,300 square feet, overlooking Durham Central Park. Units are priced starting in the mid-$400,000s.

Policygenius, the online marketplace for comparing and purchasing insurance, announced in January $100 million in Series D funding, led by global investment firm KKR. Existing investors include AXA Venture Partners, Revolution Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners, among others. Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company announced in January it will invest $474 million into an integrated life science manufacturing facility in Durham. If the company meets all its investment and job milestones, it could mean $8.7 million in state incentives, not including an additional $1.2 million in community college training and another $2.6 million being offered by Durham County. Lilly’s Durham facility will produce injectable medicines like insulin, as well as two other diabetes treatments. Durham Technical Community College will offer a

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Venture X Durham – Frontier RTP, a coworking and flexible office space, opened in January. The 22,000-square-foot coworking space offers 62 private offices, 252 member seats total, meeting rooms, executive boardrooms and an event space. Venture X offers free use of the event space until April 15. Pricing starts at $40/month for community space and up to $424/month for private office usage.


Compiled by Marie Muir

Trinity Capital Advisors began construction in February on the 100-acre Park Point office campus in Research Triangle Park (RTP). The new campus will offer creative offices, retail and recreational amenities. Michael Wagner, design director at Gensler, leads the project across six buildings and 652,000 square feet with the Brasfield & Gorrie construction firm. Transforming the vacant former Nortel Networks campus, Park Point will accommodate future expansion of more than two million square feet of lab and office space. Further development plans include building greenhouses to benefit the region’s growing agriculture technology business cluster. It’s projected to be ready for occupancy in Q1 2021. Trinity Partners’ William Allen leads office leasing, and Doug Cook, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield, leads life science leasing efforts for Park Point.


Spoonflower, “the world’s largest custom fabric and home decor digital marketplace,” announced

Profile for Shannon Media

Durham Magazine April 2020  

The Home & Garden Issue

Durham Magazine April 2020  

The Home & Garden Issue