What’s Happening: Epic Games, the software developer behind the popular video game Fortnite, will convert the dying Cary Towne Center in North Carolina into its global headquarters by 2024.
The Download: In early 2019, the developers Turnbridge Equities and Denali Properties purchased the struggling Cary Towne Center for $31 million after three of the mall’s anchor retailers shuttered. The two entities later unveiled plans for a massive mixed-use project, called Carolina Yards, that would include 1.2 million square feet of office space, 360,000 square feet of commercial use, 450 hotel rooms, and 1,800 multi-family residential units.
Those plans are now off the table, and what led the developers to sell the 87-acre site to Epic Games remains unclear. While Epic’s plans are still in the early stages, the company has revealed plans to demolish buildings on the site to make way for new office buildings and recreational facilities that will accommodate its 2,000-strong workforce. Construction is slated to begin later this year, but until then, the company will continue operating from its current location about three miles away.
Epic Games seems well-poised for long-term growth. They currently have a valuation of $17.3 billion, and Fortnite had more than 350 million registered players this past May, a figure expected to increase as more than half of Americans found solace in video games during the pandemic.
In Their Own Words: “Epic shares our vision for transforming Cary Towne Center into a vibrant community space,” Jason Davis, managing director at Turnbridge Equities, said in a statement. “The property could not be placed in better hands. After years of shifting development plans for the center, we’re thrilled the space will be utilized to its full potential and turned into something the Town and community of Cary can be proud of.”
Surface Says: We’re just relieved to see a dead mall being used for something that’s not an Amazon fulfillment center.