DanRNC

New Lenovo Building

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Looks like Lenovo is building something big in the near future. The question is where will it be? RTP, downtown Durham or Raleigh? I personally think it will be an anchor of the Park Center project but I could be wrong.

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Lenovo is really trying to up the ante with their whole brand. I think a downtown Raleigh building would fit with their aggressive growth strategy. It would light their name up in the Raleigh postcard picture, which would bring them a lot of free advertising.

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Sounds like SAS is doing the same. It's a shame that these companies don't realize the extraordinary branding potential that an impressive skyscraper in an emerging tech city would have. 

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I strongly doubt that Lenovo would consider a downtown location.

I'm guessing that DanRNC is right. Lenovo, making the comment of "There will definitely be a very visible professional presence for the enterprise team here in North Carolina", is probably saying that they will have a marquee building (Campus, more probably) along I-40 in the Park Center area.

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Unfortunately a building along I-40 is much more likely.  "Marquee" to them is Quintiles.  Not Red Hat or PNC.

 

However, I wonder if a new mid-rise or high-rise at Centennial Campus would be on their radar?  In my eyes, that could be a possible compromise between campus-style and true urban setting.

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Companies are generally reluctant to split their workforces between DTR and RTP, but there aren't many sites in DTR where Lenovo could house 3000+ people. Also, unlike SAS or Citrix or RedHat, Lenovo's business is inherently low margin (about 13%), and that makes cost control much more important to them. Lenovo just isn't the kind of company that would build a lavish HQ. I suspect they are staying near or in RTP.

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If Lenovo currently has 470,000 square feet with room to spare, but will more than double their workforce, figure they'll need 800k-1 million square feet.

In a single tower, this would be the largest office building in downtown Raleigh in terms of floor area: Wells Fargo is 544ksf. PNC is bigger in terms of total floor area at 750k, but a lot of that is residential. 800k-1m square feet would land somewhere in the range of 4th~9th place in Charlotte, so it's not unthinkable from that perspective.

I wonder if they might be reluctant to move downtown, if nothing else because they don't want to be so far from the airport. I certainly hope that they don't let that or anything else stand in their way, but I'm not holding my breath.

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I'm not going to hold my breath, but I am going to hope like crazy that a new HQ goes up in downtown. A "very visible professional presence" to me doesn't mean a midrise building slung out by I-40 that people will only barely notice while zipping by at 70 MPH. They are trying to stand out from the pack right now. Building a suburban style campus is old school. Does a company trying to dominate the market really want to do things the way they were done decades ago, or do they want to be part of the new urban tech boom and have their name emblazoned on the skyline of one of the fastest growing cities in the country? I'm no business major, but I would see more benefit to their workers and their brand coming from the downtown location.

Edited by Euphorius

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Don't Citrix and Lenovo work together on Thinkpads and such? I am not a techy so may be off base there. Would be something else to see Lenovo go vertical on the Dillion block catty corner from Citrix. 2 acre sit,e (say 50k usable feet per floor) for 20 stories and there is your space requirement...

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I personally think that the best branding, if thats what they seek, would be DT Raleigh as its becoming a high-tech urban cluster with Red Hat, Citrix, etc setting up shop. It benefits them all to work together to promote Raleigh.

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Don't Citrix and Lenovo work together on Thinkpads and such? I am not a techy so may be off base there. Would be something else to see Lenovo go vertical on the Dillion block catty corner from Citrix. 2 acre sit,e (say 50k usable feet per floor) for 20 stories and there is your space requirement...

 

I would think that Lenovo would gain the most benefit by being close to Red Hat. With Lenovo's newly acquired server business from IBM and Red Hat's Linux operating system...I see lot's of synergies.

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Yes, there's no doubt about it that being close to one another could be a big advantage for both companies... but close is a relative term.

 

To us:  close may mean within a few blocks of each other as opposed to a 20 minute drive.

 

To Lenovo:  close may mean within a 20 minute drive of each other as opposed to a 2, 3, or 4 hour flight.

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Or an 18-hour journey from Beijing!

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If they put up a 40-floor building in downtown Raleigh, that would be the best outcome from all of this.

 

Anything the city of Raleigh can do to make this happen, they should do.

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A tower could also help jump start big name retail in downtown. I can't think of any better location for a flagship Lenovo store than in the ground floor of their US HQ building.

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Well they would be wise to be close to Underground Raleigh and HQ Raleigh (and the other incubator set to open soon) for new product development. Both spaces look pretty incredible. 

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You guys are crazy...there is NO way that Lenovo would build a HQ in Dwntwn Raleigh. Perhaps an extension, but nothing more. We can't even get First Citizens bank to build in downtown, and they are already based in Raleigh! Lol...

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Not saying I have my hopes up for Lenovo but First Citizens is a conservative, suburban loving, bunch of downtown haters with little vision when it comes to emerging concepts, markets and ideas. Not comparing apples to apples with these two...

Edited by Jones_

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You guys are crazy...there is NO way that Lenovo would build a HQ in Dwntwn Raleigh. Perhaps an extension, but nothing more. We can't even get First Citizens bank to build in downtown, and they are already based in Raleigh! Lol...

 

I wouldn't quite go that far.  I feel like Lenovo is a bit more progressive than First Citizens is currently.  First Citizens outright despises anything downtown.

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^^^Different time. Did anyone think Red Hat would be downtown?  

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I would also make the point that Lenovo is a major sponsor of Hopscotch so I would't call them a stodgy clone of First Citizens. 

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Not to get too far off track but any1 remember when First Citizens proposed a skyscraper downtown about the same time the bookends were being built? I believe it was on the site now occupied by the RBC tower. Personally I prefer the never built tower over what we ended up getting, although at least we ended up getting something with some height on the site...

post-3026-0-44456000-1394379225_thumb.jp

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Most of the old timers I know downtown think that was just a ruse to justify tearing down the old gothic style Commercial National Bank building (circa 1912) they occupied at the time. They planned on moving out, had no hope of selling it and didn't want to pay taxes on it any longer. Or so the rumor goes...

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Empty RTP campus chosen:

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/techflash/2014/03/exclusivelenovo-picks-old-ericsson-campus-at.html?ana=twt

 

From 3/5/14 TBJ: 

 “We have an exciting announcement in the near future,” he says, but he offers few hints. “There will definitely be a very visible professional presence for the enterprise team here in North Carolina.”

 

Well, I believe I can say with 100% factual certainty that that was a false statement from Gerry Smith.  Nothing about this is exciting or creates a visible presence.  Oh well.

Edited by Green_man
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