Fujifilm and Google to bring new jobs, new construction — and a housing shortage — to the Triangle

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Rendering of Fujifilm's planned $2 billion cell culture manufacturing building in Holly Springs

Multi-billion dollar expansions by Google and Fujifilm in the Triangle will bring upwards of 1,700 jobs — and increasing pressure on the local housing market.

WNCN-TV (CBS 17) reports that delays, shortages, and rising prices are in store with the new employment opportunities, with salaries starting at $95,000 and reaching well into the six figures.

“House prices are already increasing very fast and with these big kind of corporations moving into this area it’s just going to make this a lot worse” the broadcaster quoted Professor Yongqiang Chu as saying.  Chu is a professor of economics and finance at UNC Charottee and the director of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate.

On a year-to-year basis, home prices have increased by 9.6 percent in Durham County and 10.3 percent in Wake County, as well as 8.7 percent in Orange and 10.7 percent in Alamance County, Zillow reports.

Chu says the new jobs will increase government revenue, but there is a need for housing affordable to lower and middle-income families..

“The only solution to solve this is to increase construction and I think there needs to be efforts to make land more available and land less expensive,” he told the broadcaster.

“There’s actually no kind of simple solution to this because we are seeing this kind of problem all over the place, especially during the pandemic, in this part of the country, North Carolina seems to be one of the favorite places people want to move to,” Chu said.

Google said in a statement that it is opening a new cloud engineering hub in Durham that could eventually support more than 1,000 jobs and grow into one of Google Cloud’s top five engineering hubs in the U.S., along with the Bay Area, New York, Seattle and Kirkland, Washington.

The company’s Google Cloud division will lease space at 200 Morris St. in downtown Durham from Duke University initially and is “evaluating several locations” for a permanent home, the release said.

Meanwhile, Fujifilm plans to build a $2 billion cell culture manufacturing facility in the Holly Springs.

Fujifilm’s biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) subsidiary, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, will operate the new manufacturing site, which according to the company will be the largest facility of its kind in North America, Genetic Engineering and Biotech News (GEN) reported.

The planned factory is projected to create 725 jobs by the end of 2028. Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies already bases over 600 jobs at Research Triangle Park (RTP) in Morrisville, its largest of four facilities worldwide.

The company opened its RTP site in 1996, on a campus that has since expanded to include three buildings that house the company’s process development and analytical aboratories, GMP manufacturing facility, and administration.

“We are passionate about the tremendous value that this new facility will bring to our partners in producing life-impacting therapies,” Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies CEO Martin Meeson said in a statement.

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