Local News

More Companies Continue To Make Presence In Downtown Raleigh

Posted August 14, 2006

— More companies are making the move to downtown Raleigh for the site of their home base.

Stewart Engineering announced Monday that it was relocating its corporate headquarters to the downtown area, making it the fourth company this year to choose downtown Raleigh as its corporate headquarters, joining Capital Bank, Headway and Intervolve.

"We are seeing this as part of a trend," said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.

Meeker said downtown Raleigh is becoming a magnet for growing young companies.

"The kind of employees coming downtown are just the kind we want. This is the creative class all the cities talk about. These are educated young professionals that will built the future of our state," Meeker said.

In April, Stewart Engineering opened a satellite office downtown with 35 employees. Leaders said success was immediate. Part of the downtown lure is the ability to do business right on the sidewalk. Some call it beneficial collisions.

"To see what's happening before it's announced, seeing our clients on the street and asking questions that you wouldn't typically do when you are out at the park and see them," said John Jenkins, Raleigh branch manager for Stewart Engineering.

What makes the three newest businesses special is that none of them are moving far -- all less than 20 miles. Capitol Bank moved its headquarters downtown from Glenwood Avenue. Software company Intervolve is coming from Lake Boone Trail.

"It's really being seen as a prominent address. Companies that want to be seen want to be in the middle of what's happening, see the need to have a presence," said Adrienne Cole, director of Raleigh Economic Development of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Willy Stewart, a graduate of North Carolina State University and founder and president of Stewart Consulting, said at least 100 people will be relocated, most from the consulting engineering firm's current location in Morrisville. The move is scheduled to take place within the next 18 months.

Company officials are currently looking for a downtown location that would have 25,000 to 30,000 square feet of space.

RBC Centura also announced it would build its headquarters in downtown Raleigh late last year.

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