Less than a year since Raleigh’s largest startup campus quadrupled in size and moved to downtown’s warehouse district, it’s beginning a massive redevelopment project to more than double its footprint again.

HQ Raleigh co-founders Brooks Bell, Jess Lipson, Jason Widen and Christopher Gergen acquired an old furniture factory just behind their existing property on Harrington Street and will spend the next 18 months renovating an existing 10,000 square feet and adding at least 20,000 square feet more. In the meantime, they’ll lease additional space from neighbor Empire Properties at 311 S. Harrington Street.

The move is in response to huge demand for the private offices and co-working desks in its existing 15,00-square-foot campus—at least 15 companies are typically on its wait list for offices. 105 companies now work out of the building, and it’s busy almost nightly with meetups, events, workshops and classes. 

HQ Raleigh just opened the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic to partner startup companies with students interested in consulting with and learning from them. The Atlanta-based code school Tech Talent South operates there. ThinkHouse Fellows and Citrix-Red Hat Accelerator participants typically work out of the space.
The expansion will include larger amounts of space for companies as they grow, an offering desperately needed in downtown Raleigh. Many growing startups note the lack of affordable—and without long-term lease requirements—space downtown as they grow. 

It’s also a good indicator of the strength and vitality of the city’s—and region’s— entrepreneurial community. National thought leaders at this week’s statewide Emerging Issues Forum have all proclaimed the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to our nation’s ability to compete in a global economy. But their data shows North Carolina to be in the middle of the pack on nearly every innovation measure—a big mission of the Institute for Emerging Issues is to help local leaders create the right spaces and resources for innovation to thrive. 

Though HQ Raleigh didn’t win the institute’s Spaces for Innovation Challenge (for which it was nominated), it’s clearly providing the kind of space the region’s entrepreneurs want and need. HQ’s expansion news comes just a week after American Underground opened a huge expansion of its startup campus in downtown Durham. More than 200 companies now operate within its three campuses. And RTP opened The Frontier in January to provide free co-working and meeting space (as well as private offices) to entrepreneurs and creatives.

Read more at ExitEvent.