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U.Va.’s North Fork Research Park Welcomes QualChoice

Nov. 22, 1999 -- QualChoice of Virginia will move its headquarters to the first building in the town center of the University of Virginia Research Park at North Fork next fall, officials have announced. The park was designed with a town square and indigenous plants in the landscaping to promote a sense of place and community.

"We have been looking to attract companies that have strong ties with U.Va.," said Tim Rose, chief executive officer of the U.Va. Foundation. "As the anchor tenant for our town center, we are off to a strong start in creating this new vision for development in Charlottesville."

"We view this as a wonderful opportunity to enhance our relationship with the University," Marty D'Erasmo, CEO of QualChoice, said. "Also, we were very pleased by the plans for the research park. In particular we felt the town center concept supported our vision of the work place as a setting fostering collaboration and a team approach to addressing work issues."

U.Va., U.Va.’s Health Services Foundation, and Martha Jefferson Hospital jointly own Blue Ridge Health Alliance Inc., the parent company of QualChoice, a health maintenance organization with more than 114,000 subscribers in Central Virginia.

The move will allow QualChoice to consolidate its operations, which are currently housed at two separate office locations, and to facilitate the daily workings of the organization and to allow for growth.

QualChoice will occupy 53,000 square feet of the 70,000 square-foot building, which is expected to be completed in fall 2000. The building was designed by the Northern Virginia architectural firm, Davis, Carter, Scott.

The research park occupies 562 acres eight miles north of the University near the Charottesville-Albemarle Airport. The master plan for the park, designed by the Virginia-based Mitchell/Matthews Architects and the Maryland firm of Duany Plater Zyberk & Co., includes a design that allows for cafes, restaurants, banks, conference facilities, and a hotel.

"This really kicks off the town center where the support and commercial amenities of the park will be housed," said Bruce Stouffer, director of research park development at the U.Va. Foundation. "We are working hard to develop a sense of community at the park," he said.

The first phase of infrastructure construction was completed at the park in the summer of 1999 with the completion of a mile-long portion of Lewis & Clark Drive, the major road into the park. At that time a major landscaping project was also completed, including plantings and a 300-foot long stone wall at the U.S. 29 entry and the transplanting of over 3,000 trees from building sites within the park to areas along Lewis & Clark Drive. In developing the park, the U.Va. Foundation has been sensitive to environmental issues of the site, Rose said.

QualChoice joins Motion Control Industries Inc., MicroAire Surgical Instruments Co. Inc., and Pharmaceutical Research Associates (PRA) as residents in the park.

For more information contact Bruce Stouffer at (804) 982-4844 or Marty D’Erasmo at (804) 975-8411.

Contact: Jane Ford, (804) 924-4298

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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