PORTAL building on UNC Charlotte campus provides space, growth for local and international businesses
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - “The building itself really serves as the front door for the university and our business partners here," says interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at UNC Charlotte, Rick Tankersley.
WBTV spent the day with Tankersley for a tour inside the university’s state of the art PORTAL building—it was created in hopes of bringing companies and businesses to Charlotte—and they’ve done just that. Right now 29 companies are located in PORTAL and over 60 companies have come through within 5 years.
“We have companies everywhere from a small startup company to the larger mid sized developmental companies all co-located in this space," says Tankersley.
Companies like the Germany based GOM—they make machines and automated technology for big auto companies like Ford—who need their technology and robots to measure and test auto parts to build their cars. PORTAL is GOM’s American headquarters.
“We’ve got the ability here to have both an office and a showcase for our equipment," says David Linford, GOM VP of America’s headquarters.
On campus GOM, right across the street in the Mechanical and Motorsports engineering buildings, has easy access to labs and equipment.
“They have access to faculty and staff talent as well as the resources and research labs we have here and to co-locate them on campus so there is that easy access," says Tankersley.
But with the success of PORTAL, growth continues and a new $83 million dollar Marriott Hotel and Conference Center will soon be the neighbor of the PORTAL building—which means now, more companies will have resources to host events, filtering more people and profit to the Charlotte area and UNCC.
“Opportunities and space for our business partners, access to uptown Charlotte for the blue line and then a conference center which is a conference space that they can take advantage of an be right next door," says Tankersley.
The hotel is expected to have 220 beds. The City of Charlotte has given eight million dollars for the project. Construction on that hotel and conference center is planned to begin in spring/early summer 2019.
Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.