CARY – Epic Games will turn the Cary Towne Center mall into its new headquarters in a deal announced Sunday evening.

Epic, majority owned by billionaire cofounder and CEO Tim Sweeney, has been based in Cary for nearly two decades.

The privately held company, with sales revenue soaring due in large part to the global success of the game Fortnite, said it plans to create a new corporate campus at the mall site by 2024.

Fortnite’s success has helped make Epic worth more than $17 billion, according to estimates by Bloomberg news and other firms that track privately-held companies.

Epic, which was formed in 1991, is buying the property from Turnbridge Equities and Denali Properties, which had acquired the property in 2019. The deal is worth $95 million, according to The Triangle Business Journal. The mall was sold after losing three of its anchor tenants.

Turnbridge and Denali had already unveiled plans to redevelop the property, which it bought for $31 million. Because of rezoning and other moves made by those firms, Epic said it was in position to move forward quickly with this project “this year.”

Epic has over 2,200 employees across 35 offices worldwide.

In October 2019, it announced plans to expand its HQ to accommodate up to 2,000 employees. The plans include adding a 450,000- to 500,000-square-foot facility on its campus at the corner of Crossroads Boulevard and Jones Franklin Road, a property that Epic has owned since 2015.

The mall is nearly 1 million square feet in size, and the property covers 87 acres.

“Epic shares our vision for transforming Cary Towne Center into a vibrant community space. This sale is further validation of our value-driven investment strategy, and the property could not be placed in better hands,” said Jason Davis, Managing Director at Turnbridge Equities, in a statement. “After years of shifting development plans for the Center, we are thrilled the space will be utilized to its full potential and turned into something the Town and community of Cary can be proud of.”

Epic plans to “create a campus customized from the ground up to accommodate its long-term growth.” The campus “will include both office buildings and recreational spaces,” Epic added.

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht says he was excited for the mixed-use development but is equally excited about the Epic Games development. He believes this will help attract new businesses to the area and help existing shopping centers that are struggling.

“I am looking forward to seeing what Epic is going to bring to the site,” Weinbrecht said. “They are going to attract that [unique] kind of talent in the area and that’s going to attract other businesses that want to be in this area. I think it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Weinbrecht hopes this move can provide a much-needed jolt to the Cary Towne Center area.

“The mall was dying and close to total death,” Weinbrecht said. “This might be a big positive for everything around there.”

One unknown at this point is what the Epic Games development means for the seven-acre sportsplex planned for some of that space. Weinbrecht says Cary is still committed to bringing the sportsplex to that area, but it could be in a different location.

“We are committed and dedicated to having the sportsplex, whether it’s on this site or another site,” Weinbrecht said.

The latest valuation of Epic’s value came in August when the company closed a $1.78 billion round of funding consisting of primary capital and secondary purchases from employee equity holders.

This round includes a previously announced $250 million strategic investment from Sony Corporation. Additional investment partners include Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and David Tepper.