FHI 360, a global public health and economic development organization, is moving its headquarters to downtown Durham’s American Tobacco Campus next year.
The nonprofit has signed a 15-year lease to occupy about 95,000 square feet in the 130,000-square-foot Diamond View III office building now under construction beyond the left field wall of the Durham Bulls Athletic park.
FHI occupies about the same amount of space at the Headquarters Park building at the intersection of Interstate 40 and N.C. 54 in Durham. FHI, previously known as Family Health International, will move about 400 employees into the building when its lease expires next year.
Diamond View III is expected to open sometime in mid-2013. It is named after the two office buildings that overlook the ballpark.
The deal with FHI is one of the largest leases signed in the Triangle in recent years and provides American Tobacco’s owner, Capitol Broadcasting, with an anchor tenant for the new five-story building. The building will also include 15,000 square feet of retail. No other tenants have been announced.
American Tobacco, which charges some of the highest rents in the Triangle, has continued to perform remarkably well during the economic downtown. Less than 2 percent of the 850,000 square feet of office space Capitol owns in American Tobacco is now vacant.
FHI’s lease rate is “very competitive” with what it is paying at Headquarters Park, said Ramona DuBose, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit. She said in addition to being drawn to the revitalized atmosphere in downtown Durham, the move also gives FHI access to more meeting and training space.
FHI, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, roughly doubled its size last year when it acquired the programs and assets of Washington-based AED, a nonprofit that had run afoul of the federal government.
At the time of the acquisition, FHI said the deal would bring its total work force to more than 4,500 employees worldwide. FHI, which operates in more than 60 countries, has been advancing beyond the health sector in recent years and now employs experts in a wide range of fields.