Epic Games Shifting Efforts From Expanding Current HQ to New $95M Mall Complex, No Plans to Uproot Psyonix from San Diego

On Sunday, Epic Games announced it had reached an agreement with Turnbridge Equities and Denali Partners to purchase Cary Towne Center, an 87-acre mall complex in Cary, North Carolina, in a deal valued at $95M USD, according to public records. Epic plans to turn the property into its new headquarters, with construction to begin later this year, and a tentative completion date of 2024. 

While the new campus being imagined will likely be massive, Epic Games spokesperson Elka Looks declined to comment on how the property might be utilized outside of the company’s own needs. When asked if Epic had plans to build a production studio on-site or if it was in talks with other game developers to take up space in the mall, Looks said that it is “still too early to get into specifics about our plans for the property.” 

One game developer that will not occupy space in the complex is Epic’s wholly-owned development studio, Psyonix Studios. Looks said that there are “no plans to relocate Psyonix,” the developer of Rocket League, from its current headquarters in San Diego to Cary.

She also said that it is “still too early to share plans for what will happen to our current property [Crossroads Boulevard] once the new campus is built.” The company had planned to expand its operations at the location prior to its deal for Cary Towne Center.

Epic has not received incentives to purchase this property,” Looks said when asked if the company was utilizing any local, state, or federal tax breaks or other incentives to offset the $95M purchase.

In February 2019, New York-based real estate firm Turnbridge Equities and Dallas-based real estate firm Denali Properties purchased the property for an estimated $31.5M through a joint venture. That purchase included an 828,000-square foot mall and 76 acres of land. 

In October of 2019, the property owners proposed the “Carolina Yards,” which would have included office buildings, residential areas including apartments and townhouses, recreational areas, and 360,000 square feet of commercial space. In December of 2019, the property owners worked with the local government to get the property rezoned to facilitate both the plans for residential and commercial development.

Turnbridge Equities’ and Denali Properties’ investments in the property in 2019 and 2020 have not been disclosed beyond the initial $31.5M purchase. Looks declined to comment on the amount of money it spent on the property, noting only that the current owners have made significant investments that have added value:

“While we can’t comment on the specifics of the deal, we are grateful to Turnbridge and Denali for all of the investments they have made in the property across zoning and development since they purchased it in 2019.”

Finally, Epic does have plans to expand its workforce, but declined to provide any numbers on future growth.

“While we don’t break out numbers, Epic is continuing to grow and hire, and this new location will be able to accommodate our short and long term growth.”

Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings holds a minority stake in Epic, with co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney owning a controlling stake in the company. In addition to owning Psyonix studio, Epic is the creator of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, the software development platform used by such games as PUBG Mobile. It also owns Warsaw-based developer People Can Fly. Epic has 40 offices worldwide, with its Cary location serving as its headquarters.

Source: Read Full Article