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Citrix Celebrates Opening of 170,000-Sq.-Ft. HQ in Downtown Raleigh

15 Oct 2014, 9:54 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Citrix Systems held a ribbon cutting event for its new office building in the city’s downtown Warehouse District.

The company has redeveloped an abandoned warehouse into a 170,000-square-foot modern workplace designed to stimulate creativity, collaboration, productivity and employee engagement.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the project will completely revitalize this area of the city located between the heart of downtown and Glenwood South.

The building currently houses 600 Citrix employees and has the capacity to accommodate another 300.

Amenities include a rooftop garden, a storage facility for 80 bicycles, along with a bicycle exchange program that offers employees the chance to ride to lunch or run errands during the day, as well as a game room full of activities chosen by employee vote, including a racquetball court, basketball court, fitness center, yoga studio and bocce ball courts.

Designed by Alliance Architecture, this adaptive reuse project also incorporates environmentally-friendly features, including a 55-foot-long living wall covered in vegetation, a two-story ceiling with shades that adjust to natural light and numerous other elements supporting LEED Gold certification.

One of the building’s highlights is the fact that conference areas are made out of retrofitted transatlantic shipping containers, a true design challenge that pays homage to the property’s industrial legacy.

Citrix began its business in Raleigh three years ago, with the acquisition of the company’s secure file sync and sharing solution, ShareFile. Since then, ShareFile revenue has quadrupled and has become a core element of the company’s overall solution.

Citrix now plans to expand its presence in Raleigh to include all its teams, and be a central hub for local customers, partners and the entire Citrix ecosystem.

“The decision by Citrix leadership to make Raleigh a ‘Tier 1’ location will help us both retain top local talent and attract top talent from elsewhere, which is good for people and great for our company. One of our core cultural beliefs is to be an incubator and a driver of innovation. We love being first – so being first into a neighborhood that is being reborn is a perfect fit for us. Having a workplace like this will ensure that we attract and retain the very best people and that innovation, and the resulting business growth, will continue to thrive and prosper here in Raleigh,” says Jesse Lipson, who was founder and CEO of ShareFile and is now vice president of Citrix’s cloud documents business.

Photo credits: Citrix via Business Wire

For our most recent multi-family, office and industrial market snapshot for the Triangle area, click here.

Record $1.8B Apt. Portfolio Sale to Lone Star Includes 7 Triangle Properties

9 Oct 2014, 7:53 pm

Walnut Creek in Raleigh

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Seven Triangle apartment properties were part of one of this year’s largest multi-family transactions, the Triangle Business Journal reports.

In a deal valued at more than $1.8 billion, Bell Partners Inc. of Greensboro and DRA Advisors LLC of New York have sold a portfolio of 20,439 apartment units in 64 communities across the nation to global private equity firm Lone Star Funds. The sale closed on September 30th, 2014.

According to the newspaper, seven of those 64 multi-family properties are located in Wake, Durham and Orange counties. The communities, which total about 2,400 apartment units with a cumulative value of about $150 million, include:

  • The  516-unit Walnut Creek at 3201 Walnut Creek Parkway in Raleigh, valued at $31.6 million;
  • The 423-unit Reserve at Lake Lynn at 650 Lake Front Drive in Raleigh, valued at $23.2 million;
  • The 404-unit Spring Forest at 5014 Sedgewick Drive, in Raleigh, valued at $21 million;
  • The 332-unit Meadows at Kildaire at 2600 Harvest Creek Place in Cary, valued at $28.5 million;
  • The 278-unit Copper Mill at 5140 Copper Ridge Drive in Durham, valued at $19.5 million;
  • The 212-unit Woodland Court at 3004 Dorner Circle in Raleigh, valued at $14.6 million;
  • The 188-unit Crest in Carrboro, valued at $8.2 million.

Bell Partners, the 12th largest multifamily management company in the US, will continue to manage the 64 communities under Lone Star’s ownership.

“This portfolio has generated strong cash yields and has benefited from our active asset management approach throughout the hold period. The end result is a great deal for our clients, with returns well ahead of expectations,” David Luski, president of DRA Advisors, said in a news release.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this investment. In addition, we appreciate the trust that Lone Star has placed in our operating capabilities in keeping Bell on as the manager of these communities. In this respect, this transaction is both a win for our investors and our associates,” added Jon Bell, president of Bell Partners.

The 64 properties sold by DRA/Bell to Lone Star were originally part of a joint venture acquisition made by DRA/Bell in 2008 of 86 apartment communities with 25,684 apartment homes located across the U.S. The transaction was the largest in the multifamily industry in that year. Later on, DRA/Bell sold 22 communities to other investors, with Lone Star ultimately buying the remaining 64 apartment communities included in the original purchase. CBRE represented the sellers in this transaction.

Photo credits: www.bellapartmentliving.com

Q&A with Adam Dunn and Tripp Bell, Founders of The Building, Land & Development Group in Raleigh

6 Oct 2014, 8:59 pm

Adam Dunn, Co-Founder and Managing Principal at BLDG US

Adam Dunn (see photo, top right) and Tripp Bell (bottom left) recently launched The Building, Land & Development Group (BLDG US) based in Raleigh, NC.

The company identifies, acquires and improves well-located multi-family real estate assets in desirable, secondary submarkets across the United States. Its leadership team has participated in the sales execution and successful closing of nearly 18,000 apartment units exceeding $2.5 billion in total aggregate value and has professionally managed over $250 million worth of institutional quality multi-family assets.

Q: What’s your forecast for the Raleigh market, and what kind of long-term results do you expect?

We relocated to Raleigh to launch BLDG due to the excellent demand drivers and economic fundamentals in the region.  Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.  The Triangle submarket of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill is experiencing tremendous population growth fueled by millennials seeking diverse job opportunities.  Over the next 15 years, we anticipate that the population will double.  With the constant influx of jobs creating demand for quality rental housing, we expect the development pipeline will continue to be absorbed at a healthy pace.

Long term, the area will continue to be one of the most desirable places to live in the United States.  Some of the top universities in the nation are in our backyard.  Unlike most primary markets, the Triangle is comprised of many undeveloped tracts of land that will potentially offer residents a new place to call home as development continues to spread outward.

Tripp Bell, Co-Founder and Managing Principal at BLDG US

Q: Is there any particular product you are focused on? What types of demographics do you target?

BLDG primarily focuses on value-add multi-family assets that were constructed between the 1980s and 1990s.  We seek properties that require a strategic exterior and interior renovation program to reposition the asset in a given submarket.  We feel that our platform is most effective in Class B rental communities comprised of 100-300 units.

We put a lot of emphasis on analyzing economic drivers and demographics of the submarkets in which we invest.  The Triangle boasts a highly educated population and an unemployment rate below the national average.  Over the next 15 years, we anticipate that the population will double.  The excellent connectivity and reasonable cost of living that this area offers has made it very attractive to businesses looking to expand, relocate or startup.  The fundamentals make sense to us.

Q: What are your priorities and what challenges do you foresee?

Our number one priority is continuously creating relationships with potential new investment partners.  Recently, we have seen significant interest in our platform from high net worth individuals looking to diversify their investment portfolios and several private equity groups, both domestic and foreign.  One of the biggest challenges we face is educating accredited investors who have never invested in real estate.    However, as the alternative asset investment landscape becomes more mainstream we expect to see further interest in our platform from this growing group of investors.

Q: Are you optimistic about finding lenders to finance multi-family acquisitions in this region?

We are confident and optimistic that we will find lenders to finance multifamily acquisitions in this region.  As we identify potential investment opportunities, lenders are currently quoting us favorable agency and CMBS terms.  We have spoken to a number of local, regional and national lenders who have shown great interest in the region, particularly in the type of product we are looking to acquire.  We believe the submarket’s fundamentals speak for themselves.

Q: Do you have plans to expand to other parts of the country?

As we continue to grow our operations and track record in Raleigh, we anticipate strategically expanding into other secondary submarkets featuring similar economic drivers as the Triangle.  When appropriate, we see BLDG venturing into cities such as, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, Denver and Minneapolis.  As our platform grows into other markets, we expect to hire local market experts to join BLDG to deliver world-class service to create optimal value for our investment partners.

For more information, visit www.bldg.us.

Wood Partners Plans 215-Unit Multi-Family Complex in Raleigh; Design Commission Tests New Zoning Rules with Major Apartment Project in Chapel Hill

3 Oct 2014, 11:12 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

A new five-story apartment building could soon rise at 616 Oberlin Road in Raleigh’s Cameron Village neighborhood.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, multi-family development firm Wood Partners is planning to build the 215-unit project on a nearly three-acre site it intends to purchase from a partnership led by Raleigh real estate investor and Colliers International executive Jim Anthony.

The new complex will replace a row of now-vacant, 1960s-era, single-story office buildings.

Deb Anderson, director of development for Wood Partners’ activity in eastern North Carolina and Virginia, told the newspaper that demolition of the old structures could start in late November.

Designed by JDavis Architects in Raleigh, the 616 Oberlin apartment project will resemble the Station Nine apartment community that Wood Partners built on Hillsborough Road in Durham in 2004 (pictured). Both buildings feature a hidden parking deck, as well as an interior courtyard.

Upon completion by mid-2016, the new residences are expected to rent for amounts similar to the other Oberlin Road projects, which include the 401 Oberlin apartments (currently renting for between $1,071 to $2,745 per month) and the Crescent Cameron Village (renting for between $1,075-$3,000 per month).

In other news, the Triangle Business Journal reports that East West Partners and Scott Murray Land Planning have presented officials their application for the construction of a six-story, mixed-use apartment complex at 201 South Elliott Road in Chapel Hill.

If approved, the 266-unit Village Plaza Apartments will spread across a site that currently comprises a parking lot and the location of the former Village Plaza Theaters.

The project, which is the first to come under new zoning rules for the 190-acre Ephesus-Fordham district, will again be reviewed on Oct. 28.

Under the new rules, development plans are being reviewed by the design commission and town planners, for adherence to certain zoning requirements, while the final approval from the Chapel Hill town council is no longer necessary.

Photo credits (1): Wood Partners; Photo credits (2): Town of Chapel Hill

Giant HCL Tech Outsourcing Project Adds 1,237 Jobs in Wake County

24 Sep 2014, 9:17 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Another good news headline for Cary: Global IT services provider HCL Technologies is planning to expand its existing development center in Wake County and create an additional 1,237 jobs there by the end of 2018.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the company is working with Axon Technologies in the project, which would bring a new Global Development Center to Cary, as well as jobs with an average annual wage of $51,653. The expansion entails an investment of approximately $9 million.

HCL already has 800 employees in Cary. The company will now be expanding into 200 Lucent Lane, a four-story building previously occupied by Progress Energy and located just down the street from its current facility on Regency Parkway. The property is owned by a joint venture between Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. of Boston and Spectrum Properties of Charlotte. The partnership acquired the building in May for $14.4 million.

HCL will benefit from a $19.6 million incentive grant recently approved by the Economic Development Investment Committee in Raleigh. According to North Carolina economic development officials, New York, Arizona and Texas were also competing for this giant HCL project.

“HCL has been steadily building its Wake County presence, and one reason is the incredible talent pool the Triangle region has to offer IT companies,” Governor McCrory said in a news release. “Providing a well-trained and motivated workforce that meets the real-world needs of employers is evidence of the importance that North Carolina puts on helping employers grow.”

Cary is also benefiting from MetLife’s decision to locate its new global technology hub in the region.

HCL Technologies is a leading global IT services company based in India, with consolidated revenues of $5.4 billion, as of June 30th, 2014. In America, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. With more than 8,000 employees in 15 states, HCL’s business in the U.S. contributes more than 50 percent of its global revenues.

Photo credits: Spectrum Properties

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