InterOperability Lab Signs Lease in Durham’s Madbury Commons Development

InterOperability Lab Signs Lease in Durham’s Madbury Commons Development

Thursday, February 20, 2014

UNH officials have signed a 20-year lease that will make its InterOperability Lab (IOL) the anchor tenant in a new $30 million development poised to enhance and expand the downtown area. 

Madbury Commons recently received final town planning board approval for the mixed-use development on 2.6 acres in the heart of downtown Durham with 126 apartments, housing 525 students, and 45,000 square feet of commercial space. The IOL will occupy 25,000 of those square feet with other parts of the university’s commercialization efforts occupying another 10,000. Construction will begin in May and the building is expected to open for the fall 2015 semester.

“The university is pleased to play a role in this project,” said Marc Sedam, executive director of UNH Innovation. “Locating the IOL downtown will allow for better integration and more opportunities for collaboration with the broader campus. In addition, the many companies the university works with and startups it creates will have an opportunity to eat and shop close to work which helps support the local economy.”

Erica Johnson, director of the IOL, noted that hundreds of industry visitors and IOL members come to campus from all over the world every year.

“Durham recognizes the importance of moving this university-related enterprise into privately owned, fully taxable property, in support of Durham’s downtown core,” said Todd Selig, Durham town administrator. “It is a paradigm shifting proposition for downtown Durham, at long last taking full advantage of the research and commercialization work at UNH for the benefit of the broader community. The move signals the culmination of four to five years of constructive town/gown dialogue.”

Madbury Commons will be located near the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. It replaces two fraternity houses and an outdated housing complex known as The Greens, with the main entrance for the IOL on Pettee Brook Lane.

“We are excited to welcome the IOL into Madbury Commons as our anchor tenant for the next 20 years,” said Ken Rubin, president of Golden Goose Capital, the developer. “Located right next door to UNH, the site is ideally situated for both the IOL and student housing. Madbury Commons will address two important challenges facing Durham; the long-standing supply and demand imbalance for off-campus student housing as well as the need for more commerce and growth. This development will be a cornerstone for the continued revitalization of Durham’s downtown by creating a pedestrian mall, rehabilitating the area around Pettee Brook, and adding commercial and retail space. We look forward to partnering with the town and UNH in making one of the state’s largest new developments a reality.”

Founded in 1988, the UNH-IOL provides independent, broad-based interoperability and standards conformance testing for data, telecommunications and storage networking products and technologies, helping companies efficiently and cost effectively deliver products to the market. A full-scale, nonprofit test lab, the UNH-IOL is dedicated to fostering cooperation within the data communications industry while providing hands-on experience to future engineers.


Golden Goose Capital is developer, owner, and manager of student housing properties near leading universities. Golden Goose brings laser focus and expertise to improving under-utilized/under-managed properties and developing new student housing communities. Forging cooperative relationships with students, parents, local municipalities and university stakeholders is what drives Golden Goose’s success.