Steve Nicholson: Why Citrix Chose Raleigh

Last week, Citrix’s Senior Director of Real Estate Strategy and Operations Steve Nicholson spoke at the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s annual State of Downtown Raleigh address. This event focused on educating attendees about the Central Business District (CBD) and exploring partnerships with developers, brokers, and economic developers who work with clients looking to locate their businesses in the area.

Steve was invited to tell Citrix’s story and talk about the reason behind choosing Raleigh’s Warehouse District for Citrix ShareFile’s new 130,000-square-foot office space. And what a story it was!

Steve explained that beginning with ShareFile’s acquisition by Citrix in October 2011, there were conversations about the need for a new, larger office space to house a planned workforce expansion.

He spoke  about the due diligence involved in a selection like this and discussed the 12 qualifying factors that the Citrix team looked at in each county, city, submarket and individual site under consideration.

When he started examining all the hypotheticals of a Downtown Raleigh warehouse office space (versus a more conventional space) he says he felt, “like a kid in a candy store.”

The Dillon Supply warehouse in Downtown Raleigh was selected because of what Nicholson called “The Raleigh Distinction”— great performance in all twelve factors and excellent performance in a few key areas:

-The ability to attract and retain great talent

-High quality of life for residents

-Great transportation options through the city and region

-Supportive and enthusiastic local government-Strong telecom and utilities at fair prices

-A strong value-to-cost ratio

-Environmental and social awareness

Nicholson also spoke about the importance of a viable, scalable site and building choice as important factors which ultimately led to the pursuit of LEED certification for the West Street warehouse site, citing “doing right, within reason” as a driving motivator.

Those who attended also had the opportunity to hear the American Planning Association’s outgoing president, Mitchell Silver (who just so happens to also be the chief planning and development officer for the City of Raleigh!) speak about the importance of a strong and healthy downtown, specifically in terms of the ROI it can give investors.

Brian Reece, managing partner of KARNES Research and a member of Downtown Raleigh Living Advocates, gave an overview of occupancy trends in Downtown Raleigh housing developments. David Diaz, president and CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance moderated a fantastic panel discussion and presented the 2013 State of Downtown publication with its findings.