The Charlottesville Coca-Cola Bottling Company is fondly remembered in the City as a place where kids could look with admiration at Coca-Cola being bottled using the latest technology. We see many different biotechnology products being bottled and used to treat common medical problems, including heart disease, infectious disease, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
The Coca-Cola Bottling Company plant begins a new life as the CityCampus Biotechnology Center. Industry leaders, scientists, investors, service providers, conference participants hear the story of Coke as they go about their business. Middle and highschool students come on tours to learn about careers in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) which are essential to maintain US competitiveness in global markets. They see state-of-the-art instruments for visualizing genes, proteins, cells, and on each visit they are reminded that Coke used to be bottled here. Wow, that is so cool! The community is happy. The influx of new employees and businesses supports local restaurants, shops and café’s on Preston Avenue. City tax revenues rise, a historic building is preserved and is once again a focal point of the community.
CityCampus intends to develop this historic property as a biotechnology research park and campus. The U.S. is the world leader in biotechnology and there are ~30-40 biotech companies in Charlottesville. Lack of laboratory facilities and space is a major unmet need and a serious impediment to growth. Our goal is to create a 40-50,000 sq ft biotechnology facility on the Coca-Cola site to meet the growth needs of local companies and to attract new biotech companies to Charlottesville.