Citrix aims to remake an old steel warehouse in Raleigh, N.C. into a LEED Gold certified headquarters for its Data Sharing Product Group. The group, which is rooted in Citrix’s purchase of Raleigh-based ShareFile last October, will also add 337 new jobs as part of a previously announced agreement with the state, said Jesse Lipson, VP and GM of that division. The facility is expected to be done next year.
Lipson, a Duke graduate, stuck close to campus when he co-founded ShareFile, a cloud storage company, in 2005, and he clearly sees the Raleigh-Durham area as a good place to staff up. Citrix itself is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., with a big presence in Santa Clara, Calif.
“We see this as a startup hub. This is about job creation and bringing the up-and-coming tech scene to downtown Raleigh. There’s a great workforce, it’s affordable and there’s a big effort to bring companies downtown,” he said in an interview last week. Indeed, there is growing momentum among tech companies to locate in downtown areas– places like Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. and the South Boston waterfront, where walking, biking and mass transit are options which are increasingly important to prospective employees. The new Citrix facility is next to the site of the new Amtrak station, which will be part of a new Union Station rail complex in Raleigh.
Another Red Hat. another local company, is moving its headquarters from the suburbs to one of the Progress Energy towers downtown. Nearby Research Triangle Park (RTP) where tech heavyweights IBM, Cisco and have a presence, is also seeing action: NetApp, which already has 1,400 employees in its RTP offices, is adding 460 new jobs there, according to The Raleigh Telegram. NetApp is based in Sunnyvale, Calif.
The refurbished Citrix facility will focus on energy efficiency and make use of recycled materials, including shipping containers which will be refashioned to work as conference rooms. A spokeswoman said plans call for the use of Low E glazing for all windows, high-efficiency HVAC systems. It will also feature a rooftop garden and yoga studio.
North Carolina, as GigaOM’s Katie Fehrenbacher has reported, has become a magnet for high-tech data centers for Google, Apple and Facebook. But while these projects goose the economy temporarily with new construction jobs, they don’t typically provide a lot of long-term high-salary employment options. This Citrix effort, however, promises the creation of at least 337 new, high-paying — and long-term — jobs. The company will fill all sorts of slots from sales and engineering to support and operations. Salaries will vary with the job, but the average salary will be 55 percent higher than the average annual salary in Wake County, Citrix said.
Citrix says it is investing $12.5 million in the local economy and will get much of that back via tax incentives. The new building’s floor plan will accommodate 560 people and can be expanded to 830, Lipson said.