Axios Raleigh

Picture of the Raleigh skyline.
May 19, 2022

Hello, Thursday, my old friend. Lucille here again.

Weather: High of 92 and sunny with showers and thunderstorms after 5pm.

🏒 Situational awareness: The Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 2-1 in game one of the Stanley Cup in overtime last night. They'll play the Rangers again in game two on Friday at 8pm.

⚡️ ICYMI: Check out our analysis of Tuesday's primary outcomes and get the lowdown on eight other races you should know about.

Today's Smart Brevity™ count is 834 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: More remote work sparks subleasing needs

Data: Cushman & Wakefield; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

The amount of office space that companies are trying to sublease has grown significantly over the past year, according to data from the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Why it matters: The rising number of subleases comes as companies across the country figure out how much office space they actually need as workers seek more flexibility in where they work.

By the numbers: In the first quarter of 2022, there were 2.4 million square feet of vacant sublet space in the Triangle, per the firm. That's a 40% increase compared to the first quarter of 2021.

  • The vacancy rate for subleased space was 4% in the first quarter, up from just under 2% the year before.

In the Triangle, companies across various industries are downsizing citing the changing nature of work.

  • The insurance company Arch Capital put two floors of the Dillon tower in downtown Raleigh up for sublease.
  • Advance Auto Parts recently subleased several floors of its office tower in North Hills, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
  • IBM put more than 600,000-square-feet of its campus in RTP up for sublease.
  • And GSK downsized from its 500,000-square-foot campus in Research Triangle Park to 70,000 square feet in downtown Durham.

What they're saying: "We definitely have seen some more sublease space hit the market," Kristine Smith, a research analyst for the firm, told Axios. "It's not necessarily tenants leaving the market but downsizing."

  • "They think offices will continue to be in need, and they still want to keep it," she added. "But they're just kind of still navigating" changes in employee behavior.
Data: Cushman & Wakefield; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The big picture: Despite the number of companies moving to smaller spaces, the Raleigh office market is in a relatively healthy place. The vacancy rate in the Triangle, which was 12% last quarter, is below the 15% national rate.

  • Rents in Raleigh grew 6% compared to a national average of 4%, Ted Klinck, CEO of Raleigh-based office provider Highwoods, told investors last month.

The intrigue: More than 2.3 million square feet of office space is under construction across the Triangle, which will test the region's ability to maintain a below-average vacancy rate.

2. 👀 Sneak peek: Issues to follow

Illustration of the North Carolina Legislative Building with lines radiating from it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

North Carolina's legislative session began yesterday, and is slated to be short and sweet (I'll believe it when I see it).

  • Republican legislative leaders are focused on a handful of priorities they want to accomplish before session ends (hopefully) later this summer.

Here's what to watch in the coming weeks and months:

The Budget

  • To be signed into law, it will require a compromise between the governor and the GOP-led General Assembly.
  • With November expected to be a windfall for Republicans in state legislative races and beyond, they may have enough votes come January 2023 to override any of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes in the remaining two years of his term.
  • That means this summer could be the governor's last chance to negotiate a budget with Republicans.
  • It could include additional allocations to big projects funded in last year's budget. Some lawmakers say inflation means those projects will need more funding to be completed.

Abortion

  • Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have stayed relatively silent following the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade, though a few conservatives have vocally expressed a need for more abortion restrictions in North Carolina.
  • What the legislature will do on this issue is a big question mark and will ultimately depend on what SCOTUS rules in the landmark case.

More issues to follow: What to watch during N. C.'s legislative session

3. 🥰 99 problems but cheap dates ain't one of 'em

Illustration of a heart with an arrow through it. The tip of the arrow is the Axios A logo.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Dating can be expensive, but you don't have to spend a ton to have a good time.

  • Whether it's a first date or you've together for years, here are some date ideas under $25.
1. Hike along the Eno River

Take a romantic stroll along the picturesque river that's flanked by lush tree groves. Stop and snap a cute selfie, or hop in and swim when it's hot out.

Best for: Outdoorsy couples.

Details: The state park has five scattered access areas around Durham. Plan your route.

Full guide: 5 Triangle date ideas under $25

4. 🚘 Take a trip off the grid

A picture of a street with cars parked along the side
Photo: Emma Way/Axios

Want a quick weekend getaway? Axios' Emma Way made the trek to Brevard in April, and blessed us with a guide to replicate her adventure if you're interested in waterfalls, mountain air, local boutiques and everything in between.

Emma's dispatch: When I visited the town of about 8,000 people in April, I got all the seasons in a single day — from a snowy morning hike to a sunny afternoon stroll downtown.

Get oriented: Brevard is tucked away at the entrance of the lush Pisgah National Forest, about 4.5 hours from Raleigh.

  • The city's nickname is "land of waterfalls," so that gives you a good idea of what to expect. More than half of Transylvania County, which contains Brevard, is publicly owned and protected land.
  • The town is also home to Brevard College and the national craft beer brand, Oskar Blues.

Full guide: How to have the perfect weekend in Brevard

New jobs to check out

🚪 Open the door to a new career with our Job Board.

  1. Treasury manager at Local Government Federal Credit Union.
  2. Sr. landscape designer at Bohler.
  3. Homes project manager at Opendoor.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

One day until Friday. See you then.

  • 🎧 In the meantime, I'll be listening to this song on repeat and chugging copious amounts of coffee.

Was this forwarded to you? Subscribe for free and get our newsletter every weekday morning.

  • To ensure it reaches your inbox, please add [email protected] to your contacts. If you use Gmail, just drag this email to your "Primary" tab.