RALEIGH -- Software giant Red Hat launched its new global headquarters in downtown Raleigh. On Monday, the first round of employees began moving from N.C. State's Centennial campus into the former Progress Energy building.
"We've been waiting for it a lot time for them to be here," said Clyde Cooper's BBO owner Randy Holt, who made a chalkboard street sign to welcome his new neighbors.
Holt's bottom line's been hurting since Progress Energy workers began departing the building on 100 East Davie Street. Now he's eager to offer Red Hat workers a piece of hog heaven.
"Going across the street and have lunch, it's like going home for lunch," said Holt, describing the convenience Red Hat workers will experience when they visit his restaurant.
"We're very excited to be in a new space, a lot of open plan, a lot of upgraded technology in our work space,” said Craig Youst, Red Hat's Global Real Estate and Facilities Director. “Red Hat associates are really excited to be here."
By next spring, more than 1,000 workers will take over 19 floors of Red Hat Tower.
"Our demographic is very young, so Red Hat associates love being downtown with all the energy," said Youst. “We're very excited to hopefully start a trend of bringing more and more businesses to downtown."
Downtown business owners believe Red Hat's presence will attract other industries to the city's hub.
"I think having a company like this come downtown is good for them because they will experience the downtown and it's good for downtown because it will push downtown somewhere else too,” said Jerome Lauck, owner of Sosta Cafe. “So I think it's a win win situation"
With a proper greeting in place, Holt's waiting to see what kind of impact the open source technology leader will make.
"If anybody was going to replace Progress Energy, I think Red Hat is a perfect fit for downtown."
Red Hat plans to bring new workers into the building every few weeks until the move is complete in the spring.
The company expects to officially put its name on the tower in the beginning of 2013.