Red Hat plans on sticking around the Triangle and will create hundreds of high-paying jobs over the next decade.
State officials approved two grants for the Raleigh software company today. The first, worth up to $6.75 million, calls for Red Hat to create 240 jobs over the next four years with average annual salaries of $80,525.
The second will be worth up to $11.02 million, and is tied to Red Hat creating 300 more jobs over a 5-year period beginning in 2015.
The grants require Red Hat to expand in Wake County, but it's not clear whether the company has picked a location.
State officials scrambled when Red Hat began considering larger space for its rapidly expanding headquarters last year. In addition to looking at expansion at its current facilities at N.C. State's Centennial Campus, Red Hat looked at other locations in the Triangle, Boston, Atlanta and Austin, Texas.
The company is looking to build between 300,000 and 400,000 square feet of office space to meet its needs. About 700 of Red Hat's roughly 3,600 employees are in Raleigh.
The grants require the company to retain those employees.
Red Hat is considering a number of locations in Wake County, including Perimeter Park in Morrisville, Raleigh's North Hills, N.C. State's Centennial Campus and multiple sites in downtown Raleigh.
The company currently leases 188,000 square feet on Centennial Campus, two-thirds of which is leased through 2020.
What happens with those leases will likely be a major factor in where Red Hat ends up locating.
It could try to sublease the space or N.C. State may be open to taking some of it.
Incorporating the leases into a relocation agreement would be difficult given lenders current skittishness about commercial real estate.
The size of Red Hat's proposed expansion, and the fact that so little new office space is being built, has made the project much coveted by local developers.
Those who submitted proposals to the company have heard little back. Today's announcement does take one option off the table: American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham.
Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting, the owner of American Tobacco, had made no secret of his desire to lure Red Hat to Durham.