Asana Partners



Asana Partners Introduces Brightleaf District, Announces New Restaurant, Medical, and Life Sciences Additions Opening Later This Year

June 30, 2021

DURHAM, NC (June 30, 2021) – Today Asana Partners announced several major additions to Brightleaf District, a dynamic mixed-use destination for dining, shopping, and office space that includes Brightleaf Square and totals almost 200,000 square feet. BioLabs North Carolina, a provider of fully equipped, co-working wet lab space for life science innovators, will expand their presence in the area, occupying over 32,000 square feet at 810 West Peabody. Opening in Brightleaf Square are Emmy Squared Pizza, known for their Detroit-style pizza and award-winning burgers, and One Medical, a modernized, consumer-friendly primary care practice. Oerth Bio, an early-stage agriculture biotech company headquartered at 112 South Duke Street, will double their space at the location, occupying almost 15,000 square feet. Beloved artisan ice cream company Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will locate across from Brightleaf Square. Openings target later this year.

The announcements come as Asana completes renovations of Brightleaf Square’s centerpiece, a tree-lined, brick courtyard that spans the interior of the historic complex. Changes include extensive landscaping, additional seating, and lighting and façade improvements to create an active environment for customers and office users.

“Brightleaf Square benefits from intrinsic charm and an exceptional location,” commented Brian Purcell, Managing Director at Asana Partners. “In establishing Brightleaf District, our focus is to reimagine our holdings in the area, leverage their connectivity, and invest in amenities that will energize the properties and highlight the eclectic mix of local, regional, and national operators that are here.” 

Positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle area at 905 West Main Street, Brightleaf Square is walkable from downtown Durham as well as Duke University’s east campus, drawing families, workers, and students to the 18-hour destination. The Square’s famed brick buildings, built in the early 1900s to warehouse tobacco, create the center courtyard, which is perfect for al fresco dining and gathering with friends. Renovated street-level space is dedicated to food, shops, and service providers, while upper-level floors are ideal for creative office and life science users.

“We look forward to expanding our footprint from the Chesterfield building to the Brightleaf District and creating a multi-block life science innovation hub in downtown Durham. Our space will consist of private lab and office suites for high impact, well-funded life science companies that are rapidly growing and “graduating” from our Chesterfield building location,” said Ed Field, President of Biolabs North Carolina.

Asana Partners has more announcements planned for Brightleaf District, including full-service dining and service-based businesses that will cater to surrounding neighborhoods and Duke University students as well as rapidly growing industry clusters in Durham, such as the life sciences market.

Purcell added, “As a top-ranked area for tech talent and livability, Durham will continue to grow and attract more employers, professionals, students, and families. We’re excited to partner with these companies to continue to round out the experience and serve this special community.”

About the new businesses:

  • BioLabs North Carolina is part of a network of nine similar coworking wet lab and office facilities located in key biotech innovation clusters in the U.S. The company’s collaborative model and top-of-the-line research equipment are suited to scientific entrepreneurs drawn to the physical and financial flexibility the company offers.  
  • Emmy Squared Pizza was founded in 2016 and has developed a cult-like following. The signature pizza is marked by its square shape, crispy bottom, fluffy dough, cheesy "frico" crust, and signature sauce stripes. Offering a full menu beyond pizza, the company’s burger has landed on the “#1 best burger” list in Nashville and two “best burgers” lists in New York City. Focusing on quality ingredients and unique toppings, Emmy Squared Pizza works to connect with communities and provide a great dining experience for their customers.
  • One Medical is a membership-based medical practice providing primary care through a mix of human-centered design, intelligent uses of technology, and highly-trained team members. In addition to in-person medical care, members have 24/7 access to virtual care including an easy-to-use app and digital access to health records.
  • Oerth Bio is an agtech startup envisioning an entirely new technological approach to agriculture at a global scale, one that can protect plants from acute threats and enhance plant health and resilience. The company launched in 2019 as a joint venture between Bayer and Arvinas to commercialize PROTAC® technology in agriculture. PROTAC technology harnesses natural biological systems within plants to sustainably fine-tune crops, increasing yields and strengthening plants while reducing the impact on the environment. 
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a modern American ice cream company devoted to making the finest ice creams the world has ever known. Founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 2002 by James Beard Award-winning ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s has emerged over the past 19 years as the new standard by which all other ice creams are judged. Today, Jeni’s is a Certified B Corporation known for its social, environmental, and business leadership with 50+ scoop shops, an online shop at, and distribution in top grocery stores across the country.

Media Contact: Julie C. Ducworth, (803) 465-1198,