One stakeholder expects Red Hat to remain in Raleigh.
The software company is considering its options for new space in Durham, Atlanta, Austin and downtown Raleigh, setting off a frenzy among elected officials, economic boosters and real-estate developers. Another option would be to expand its existing headquarters on N.C. State's Centennial Campus.
"If I were a betting man, I bet they'll stay," said Ira R. Weiss, dean of N.C. State's Poole College of Management.
Of course, that's only one man's opinion. But he has more than a passing interest in the matter.
Losing Red Hat's headquarters would be a major blow to Raleigh, and to N.C. State, which produces many graduates who become new employees at the fast-growing company. Red Hat is the highest-profile tenant at Centennial, and is used to help recruit others.
The cost of relocating Red Hat's 700 employees from Raleigh would be prohibitively expensive, and many of those workers won't want to move, said Weiss, who added that he had lunch last month with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.
One issue that Weiss would have expected to hurt this region's chances: the lack of international flights out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport. That's a major hassle for a company expanding its business around world, or for anyone traveling abroad frequently, he added.
"But that doesn't seem to be a major problem" for Whitehurst, he added.
A publicly traded company like Red Hat has to consider options, especially with opportunities created by the commercial real-estate slump, Weiss said. But he's hopeful N.C. State and Raleigh will triumph when Red Hat announces its decision in the next month or so.