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Red Ventures opens Silicon Valley-inspired building with bowling alley, yoga studio

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/09/19/11/7gW24.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Isabella Bartolucci - ibartolucci@charlotteobserver.com
    Bowling ball and pin cookies were served to Red Ventures guests at the opening of its new building on Monday, June 9, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/09/19/11/13jAS8.Em.138.jpeg|210
    PHOTOS BY Isabella Bartolucci - ibartolucci@charlotteobserver.com
    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley greets Red Ventures employees and guests at the opening of their new building in Fort Mill on Monday, June 9, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/09/19/11/NVOVU.Em.138.jpeg|493
    Isabella Bartolucci - ibartolucci@charlotteobserver.com
    Dale Lancaster bowls in one of Red Venture’s six new lanes in its newest building’s basement on Monday, June 9, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/09/19/11/1098pL.Em.138.jpeg|210
    Isabella Bartolucci - ibartolucci@charlotteobserver.com
    Jackson, 12, left, and Sami Elias, 11, play a video game on Monday, June 9, 2014, in the basement of the newest building at the Red Ventures campus in Fort Mill.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/09/19/11/120fgU.Em.138.jpeg|214
    Isabella Bartolucci - ibartolucci@charlotteobserver.com
    Red Ventures employees lead guests on a tour of their new building in Fort Mill on Monday, June 9, 2014.

FORT MIL, S.C. Red Ventures, the Fort Mill, S.C.-based marketing firm, on Monday showed off its latest addition: a 180,000-square-foot building complete with a bowling alley, beer garden, spin and yoga studios and a coffee bar.

Red Ventures co-founder and CEO Ric Elias said the Silicon Valley-inspired architecture of the new building underscored the company’s goal “to compete with what the very best firms on the West Coast are doing.”

“I believe we have a shot at being the Google of the East Coast,” Elias said in his remarks at the grand opening Monday afternoon.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also addressed the company’s informal work atmosphere. “There is nothing like Red Ventures on the East Coast,” she told the group. “This is a very special culture.”

The new building, first announced in 2012, has 60 meeting rooms built around themes: garages, bars, attics, even a backyard. Employees work at long cubiclelike stations, rather than offices. In fact, only Elias and co-founder Dan Feldstein have offices, according to Rachel Hampton, a writer for Red Ventures who was among the tour leaders Monday.

Red Ventures opened its headquarters in Lancaster County in 2009. Its postal address is Fort Mill, but the complex is in Indian Land, in Lancaster County. It received local and South Carolina incentives, including job-development credits, infrastructure grants and tax breaks. The expansion that opened Monday was covered under the previous local incentives, and state officials have said no new incentives were offered for the new building.

As an Internet marketing and sales firm, Red Ventures draws customers via online marketing and direct sales for clients including DirecTV and ADT Security. Prior to the new building, estimated to have cost around $50 million, sales agents and technical support were in separate, smaller buildings. Now, employees from both arenas will work in a single building larger than the older two combined.

The five-story building can house 1,200 employees. Hampton says the massive size of the new expansion – or “RV3” as employees call it – is “for a purpose.”

“We’re trying to attract and retain world-class talent,” she said during a tour.

The company intends to hire most of its new employees from within South Carolina, hoping to reach 1,800 employees in the state by the end of the year – a 50 percent increase from the current 1,200 employees in South Carolina.

Red Ventures also has offices in Wilmington and in Charlotte’s University Research Park. These smaller branches bring the total number of employees to 2,000 across both Carolinas.

Previously, Red Ventures announced the closing of its branches in San Antonio and Miami, bringing 280 employees to the Carolinas.

While the company did not disclose the salaries of its corporate employees, Red Ventures has said sales agents typically make between $40,000 and $65,000 a year, plus uncapped commission.

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