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Biotech campus sets dedication date

The North Carolina Research Campus announced this afternoon it will dedicate its first three buildings at the $1.5 billion Kannapolis complex Oct. 20.

The move comes three years after billionaire Dole Food owner David Murdock said he would transform the city with his plans for the 350-acre campus, which grew into a collaboration with eight N.C. universities. At the time, Kannapolis was still reeling from the 2003 shutdown of former textile giant Pillowtex, which cost more than 4,000 people their jobs in Cabarrus and Rowan County.

Murdock is building the campus through his development company, Castle and Cooke.

The dedication will include the Core Lab building, the campus centerpiece that houses speciality equipment and labs for lease by campus tenants. The other buildings to be dedicated are the UNC Nutrition Research Building and the N.C. State Fruit and Vegetable Science Institute Building.

Local, state and education leaders are expected to attend.

Several private companies also have signed up so far for the campus. Plans for the mixed-use site also call for retail, residential and civic components.

Adam Bell: 704-786-2185