University buys property for center
January 24, 2013By Jenny Callison
University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Entrepreneurship Center (EC) will soon have a home of its own.
In December, the university has purchased a building complex at 803 S. College Road to serve as the center’s future home. Cost of the building purchase was nearly $2.2 million, said university spokeswoman Andrea Weaver. The university also secured a 34-year land lease with the owner of the property.
The transaction was brokered by Chuck Lydon, senior vice president and partner; Cody Cress, vice president and Tyler Pegg, broker, with Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners LLC.
The EC, which strives to be a catalyst for entrepreneurial growth in southeastern North Carolina by linking ventures, entrepreneurs, and relevant support organizations, has been housed on the university campus since it was formed in Jan. 2010.
“We are in the early stages of renovating space in this location for the Entrepreneurship Center. An exact timeline has not been determined,” Weaver said.
According to other university officials, the EC will house a business accelerator, which would provide space, services and advice and mentoring for young companies.
The purchase is intended to help the university’s effort to strengthen the center’s relationships with the business community and to run the center itself more like a business, officials said. In February 2012, UNCW chancellor Gary Miller announced that the EC would be moved from under the aegis of the Cameron School of Business, reorganized as an LLC with nonprofit status and placed directly under his office.
“The reorganization will enable the center to become more nimble and innovative as it expands its programs and creates new initiatives,” said Miller at that time. “The center will also assist UNCW in its innovation and commercialization efforts, such as MARBIONC.”
MARBIONC, which stands for Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina, is designed to help scientists bring innovative products from the marine environment to the marketplace.
Three months after the LLC announcement, the center’s director, Jonathan Rowe, left to take a position with nCino, a banking technology company based in Wilmington.