Thursday, February 24, 2011

CCP Games Relocation

February 24, 2011 is a very proud day.  It's the day I can finally disclose freely that CCP North America has executed a new lease, and that I represented them in the transaction. 

The text from the State's press release appears below.  Before we get to it, however, here's an additional [CCP-approved] quote that didn't make it into the press release:

"CCP was represented by John Cobb.  John was with Lynx Real Estate at the time and has since moved to Grubb & Ellis.  The landlord was represented by Fisher Paty of Oakhurst Realty Partners.  Reynir HarĂ°arson, CCP Co-Founder and the creator of EVE Online, the company’s award-winning flagship video game, had this to say regarding the two brokers: 'CCP places a high value on the positive and productive culture of our workplace and therefore takes an active, hands-on approach to site selection.  We were seeking a location that balanced economics and functionality, and John did an outstanding job of guiding us through the process.  Once John identified the site, Fisher and his team worked very effectively to make this arrangement come together.'"

And here's the State's press release, followed by a closing thought:

CCP Games Announces Georgia Expansion
International gaming developer to relocate North American headquarters, create 150 jobs


Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that CCP Games, the Reykjavik, Iceland-based digital entertainment developer, will relocate its CCP North America headquarters from Gwinnett County to the City of Decatur in DeKalb County. This move is expected to create 150 new jobs over three years, bringing the company’s U.S. staff total to 300 by 2013, while retaining its existing workforce.

“For digital entertainment companies, Georgia brings to bear a competitive set of resources for this industry that makes our state a strategic home for game developers such as CCP,” said Deal. “It is also encouraging to see an existing Georgia company expand and take full advantage of our state’s progressive business atmosphere, and enhance its commitment to our state.”

CCP Games is a leader in the multiplayer video gaming industry. The company is the creator of EVE Online, a science fiction-based multiplayer online game, which was introduced in 2003. Two additional projects, World of Darkness and DUST 514, are currently in development. Through this expansion, CCP North America will support the needs of its growing company and suite of products.

“Decatur offers the perfect blend of big city accessibility with a hometown feel that we were looking for,” said Mike Tinney, President of CCP North America. “Georgia’s financial climate combined with Decatur’s social climate provide the ideal conditions for continued growth.”

The company will locate in a 40,000-square-foot facility at 250 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. in Decatur.

“I am pleased to welcome CCP to DeKalb County’s growing cluster of creative industry companies,” said DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. “DeKalb is home to a dynamic young workforce, educated at institutions such as Emory University and the Art Institute of Atlanta. CCP’s decision to locate in DeKalb will create highly paid jobs for both young graduates and more experienced workers in the fast-growing gaming industry.”

Interactive entertainment companies in Georgia benefit from the state’s comprehensive technology infrastructure and highly skilled workforce. This makes Georgia a competitive location for media industries such as video game development, animation and digital entertainment. More than 75 digital entertainment companies have Georgia locations, which are fed by a pipeline of talent matriculating from more than 15 Georgia colleges and universities offering industry-related courses.

“CCP Games had a list of qualities they wanted in a new business location — a strong sense of safety, easy access to MARTA and a high quality of life that would be attractive to new employees — and we met all of them. A business environment that supports creative businesses and had a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment within easy walking distance of their office were also high on their list,” said Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd. “Decatur fit their needs and CCP fits our vision for our downtown business community. We welcome them to our city and look forward to their participation in our creative, actively engaged community life.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development project manager Glen Whitley assisted the company with this relocation, in collaboration with the City of Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia Power and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

About CCP Games
CCP is recognized for the creation of revolutionary gaming experiences designed with a unique combination of stunning artistry and advanced technology. Best known as the independent developer and publisher of EVE Online, the critically acclaimed, space-based massively multiplayer online game (MMO) and PC Gamer’s 2009 ‘MMO of the Year,’ CCP is currently in preproduction on two additional titles: World of Darkness, a dark, immersive MMO based on the legendary roleplaying franchise of the same name; and DUST 514, the groundbreaking massively multiplayer online first-person shooter (MMOFPS) set in and linked to the EVE Online universe. Founded in Iceland in 1997, CCP is privately held and has additional offices in Atlanta, Newcastle and Shanghai with a datacenter in London. More information can be found at

Final thought: As you'll imagine, this transaction had many complexities.  While I can't disclose this deal's specifics, I can tell you that its process required that I have an understanding of opportunity zone credits, entertainment tax credits, state and local incentive options, and the recruiting tactics of competing states.  If you're curious to know what this could mean for your organization, reach out to me and I'll talk you through it!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Change Brokerage Firms?

I’ve been asked several times lately why we (at Lynx Real Estate) took our Healthcare and Technology teams to Grubb & Ellis. The short answer is that it allows us to expand the reach and resources we offer to our clients.

Reach. As I type this, I’m in San Diego at a national collaboration summit. Hundreds of brokers from across the country have gathered to understand our various specialties and to discuss clients and potential areas where collaboration can enhance the value we deliver. More agents in more cities (over 100) means I now have market specialization everywhere you might be. This should explain the reach part.

Resources. Here is a small sampling of the resources I’ve interacted with this week alone:

- Healthcare. Over 25 Grubb & Ellis agents from around the nation gathered to discuss the new comprehensive healthcare real estate solution we’re building. This team’s individual members have completed over $1B in transactions and have seasoned expertise in all the areas listed below. These are not agents who recently decided to become healthcare experts… they are the real deal. Here’s the expertise we already have in place:
     o Sales - Institutional and smaller
     o Capital Markets (aka funding) for healthcare products
     o Leasing
     o Tenant Representation
     o Facilities Management
     o Stark, Kickback, and Fraud & Abuse compliance protection
     o Construction Management
     o Data Centers

- Technology. Grubb & Ellis has technology-savvy agents across the country who have formed a team to collaborate in helping technology companies make real estate decisions. I’ll be a contributer and collaborator with that team also.

- Land. I was recently asked by a client if a piece of land is (or could become) EB-5 qualified. Not only does Grubb & Ellis have people who know the program, they have people with direct experience in it.

- Foreign Nationals. I’m in the early stages of helping a Chinese business person purchase a specialized technology-centric building. Grubb & Ellis has a group of agents I can tap who specialize in assisting Chinese nationals in their domestic real estate transactions.

Other G&E resources include a chief economist, research department, graphic artist, appraisers, construction managers, and a host of other valuable services.

We at Lynx built a phenomenal platform and helped a large number of clients make very good real estate decisions. The Grubb & Ellis move allows us to continue to do so, but serving a national versus regional audience.  Let me know how I can put this platform to work for you.