Red Hat employees begin move to downtown

July 23, 2012 3:55:14 PM PDT
Dozens of Red Hat employees got their first taste of working in downtown Raleigh Monday as the first wave of workers moved into the company's new headquarters.

It's not the biggest move -- only about 3-1/2 miles from Red Hat's old address at N.C. State's Centennial Campus to its new digs downtown-- but city officials think the move could be huge for Raleigh's image.

The open-source software company is taking over all 19 floors of the high-rise that formerly housed Progress Energy.

One hundred employees moved in Monday, but over the next 10 months, as many as 900 more employees will be making the move.

The city is excited about the demographic of this new downtown workforce -- 20 and 30 somethings with above average salaries, and lots of disposable income.

"Our demographic is very young," said Red Hat's Craig Youst. "So, Red Hat associates love being downtown with all the energy. They want to experience some of the energy and life that downtown has to offer. We're thrilled to be here."

Red Hat was lured to downtown with over $15 million in city, county and state grants and tax incentives.  

Officials see the move as a potential game changer in attracting similar companies to the city not to mention new retail opportunities downtown with a suddenly much younger work-force.

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