America's Growth Cities
Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Tech Growth Trio
North Carolina has come to be recognized as one of technology’s fastest growing states. Live In America EB-5saw the signs and realized that the state had elements that would appeal to foreign-trained IT people – engineers, programmers, entrepreneurs – looking to take the EB-5 road to United States citizenship.
The largest technology locale in North Carolina, if not the country, is the Research Triangle Park, situated on 7,000 acres in the state’s Piedmont region. The name Triangle is in reference to the three cities that comprise its points – Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Or, more specifically, for the three research universities in those cities – NC State, Duke, and the University of North Carolina. The Triangle today has more than 260 companies quartered there, the majority IT related. IBM, Cisco Systems, GlaxoSmithKline and Biogen are a few of the many recognizable names. New residents every day move into the Triangle area, drawn by the continuing job growth, the reasonable cost of living and quality of life.
One of the most dramatic differences between the Research Triangle and its West Coast and Northeast counterparts is cost of living. The median price for a home in the established Silicon Valley community of Palo Alto is $2.3 million. In Chapel Hill, whose real estate prices are the highest of the three Triangle cities, the median price of a home is $363,000.
Tax-wise, North Carolina has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in America, a modest 3%. Personal and property taxes are at a comparably low percentile.
Chapel Hill schools are ranked by Niche as #1 of 116 school districts in the state. The city of 59,200 has three public high schools that have each received national recognition for excellence. And, of course, there’s the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which, along with its distinguished academic curriculum, has a top athletic program, its standout sport being basketball. This has fueled an intense rivalry between the UNC Tar Heels, the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, and the NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh.
Bon Appetite hailed Chapel Hill, with its creative chefs and diverse restaurants, as one of America’s “foodiest small towns.” CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg ranked Chapel Hill #3 on his list of the “Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns.” Culture, hospitality, quality of schools and scenic beauty were deciding factors.
Raleigh is the state capital and has a population of 438,000. In addition to being the home of North Carolina State and several other universities and colleges, Raleigh also has the North Carolina Museum of Art and the woodlands and trails of William B. Umstead State Park for city families and visitor’s to enjoy. The best of Raleigh’s public schools is the Raleigh Charter High School, with 537 students who are admitted by lottery. The school is ranked second within North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report.
It has been said that Raleigh, along with neighboring Durham and Chapel Hill, ranks among the 10 most educated places in the United States. With all those colleges and universities about, the claim would be hard to refute. To add yet another touch of luster to the capital city’s attractions, especially for homemakers and chefs, Raleigh has a 30,000 square foot farmers’ market open seven days a week.
Zillow lists the median price for a home in Raleigh at $257,074.
Durham, population 263,000, has seen a revitalization of its downtown and has been enjoying a cultural renaissance. Two venues in that regard are the Durham Performing Arts Center, the largest venue of its kind in the Carolinas, and the Museum of Life and Science, which features interactive exhibits on earth and space. But the primary focus in Durham is sports, the two main attractions being the Duke University basketball team and the Durham Bulls of the International Baseball League, the team that inspired the movie Bull Durham.
Nearly half of all schools in the Durham Public School District are magnets, allowing students to concentrate on a particular area of study. Examples are the Durham School for the Arts, which focuses on visual and performing arts, and the School for Creative Studies, its classes centered on media and design arts. Applications must be submitted for acceptance and students are chosen by lottery. The North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics is a high school operated by the University of North Carolina in central Durham. The school is residential and accepts rising juniors from around the state for a mainly STEM curriculum.
The median price for a home in Durham, as posted by Zillow, is $210,000.
North Carolina’s Outer Banks are the state’s recreational pride, their miles of pristine Atlantic beaches a relaxed haven for the surf caster or kite flyer or shoreline stroller. The Wright Brothers got their first plane airborne on the Outer Banks, hence the state’s slogan, First in Flight. On the state’s opposite side, forested mountains are home to the famed Appalachian Trail, the world’s longest footpath, where summer hikers can stretch their legs as far north as Maine or south to Georgia. Come winter, the mountains beckon with ski and snowboarding slopes for all abilities.
We asked Live In America EB-5 founder Robert Roskind to share his thoughts on the state. “North Carolina,” he said, “and the Research Triangle in particular, is an area that EB-5 investors would very much benefit from actually visiting, so they can witness first-hand its technology growth and surrounding amenities. They’ll likely hear about the need for skilled IT workers, and probably will spot some successes-in-the-making, given the entrepreneurial climate there.” Robert speaks with a frequent visitor’s experience when he says, “It won’t take long for them to appreciate the congenial lifestyle, all the things to be enjoyed at a modest cost.”
Live In America EB-5 would be pleased to work with EB-5 investors in exploring the North Carolina way of life and its Research Triangle’s opportunities, please send us an email to: