NC scraps Citrix jobs deal, closing chapter on downtown Raleigh expansion vision

North Carolina officially canceled a major economic project this week after Citrix Systems failed to create any of the new jobs it had committed to bring to Wake County seven years ago.

On Tuesday, the N.C. Economic Investment Committee voted to terminate a 2016 grant that would have paid Citrix more than $5 million if the cloud computing provider added 400 jobs and retained its existing staff in Raleigh.

At the time, the company employed more than 900 people at its downtown offices in the Warehouse District.

Since then, Citrix has struggled. It conducted mass layoffs in 2017 and 2021. Last fall, two private investment firms bought out the then-public company for $16.5 billion.

Citrix vacated its Raleigh campus earlier this year and now lists the space for lease. As of October, the company said it had 406 local employees — 326 positions at legacy Citrix and 80 from TIBCO Software, a California firm that combined with Citrix during the sale.

On Nov. 3, Citrix senior vice president Brian Shytle asked the state to terminate its 2016 jobs grant, citing last year’s acquisition as the reason its North Carolina operations fell short.

The state did not distribute any public money from the 2016 grant. Job development investment grants, or JDIGs, award economic benefits after companies hire employees. A local tax grant worth $500,000 for the Wake County project also did not confer.

Most of North Carolina’s JDIG projects never reach their initial hiring or investment goals, an News & Observer analysis shows. Many grants are terminated early after a project creates some jobs, but it is also common for projects to close with no jobs added.

Gave the Warehouse District a boost

Citrix was founded in 1989 and went public six years later. It added a Triangle presence in 2011 when it acquired the Raleigh startup Sharefile for $54 million. The same year, Citrix received its first state job development investment grant to move its local workforce to downtown Raleigh. This grant ultimately awarded Citrix $6.2 million after the company created 343 local jobs and retained another 214. It technically remains active.

Many credit Citrix’s arrival with revitalizing the Warehouse District. The computing firm took over 171,000 square feet of offices that once held a former Dillon Supply warehouse. Today, the surrounding area is busy with apartments, bars and shops.

In its letter requesting an end to its 2016 grant agreement, Citrix told the state it has “relocated to a smaller space in Raleigh.”

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