Toyota to Move U.S. HQ to Texas

Saying it is designed for better customer service and sustainable, long-term growth, Toyota is moving its North American headquarters and about 4,000 jobs to Plano, Texas, to a state-of-the-art campus expected to break ground in the fall and be completed by 2017.

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Saying it is designed for better customer service and sustainable, long-term growth, Toyota is moving its North American headquarters and about 4,000 jobs to Plano, Texas, to a state-of-the-art campus expected to break ground in the fall and be completed by 2017.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Toyota expects to invest more than $300 million at the Plano site.

Commercial Property Executive has confirmed that the campus will be built in the Legacy West business park, a 2,700-acre created by Ross Perot in the 1980s as a master-planned business park for corporate headquarters and offices. Several media outlets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are reporting the property Toyota will be occupying is owned by J.C. Penney near its headquarters at the southwest corner of Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121. Real Estate Bisnow and the Dallas Morning News reported that KDC, a leading commercial real estate development and investment firm that is a partner in Legacy West, is being considered as the developer of a 1 million to 1.5 million-square-foot campus for Toyota. A KDC spokesperson told CPE the developer is not commenting on the report.

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Jim Lentz, Toyota North America

Toyota said over the next three years, three separate North American headquarters for manufacturing, sales and marketing and corporate operations will be combined into one campus. The plan affects approximately 2,000 employees at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in Torrance, Calif.; about 1,000 employees in Toyota Financial Services, also in Torrance; approximately 1,000 employees at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., in Erlanger, Ky.; and some employees at Toyota Motor North America in New York City. Some small groups will begin relocating this summer into temporary offices in the Plano area but most of the employees will not move until the new headquarters is completed.

“With our major North American business affiliates and leaders together in one location for the first time, we will be better equipped to speed decision making, share best practices, and leverage the combined strength of our employees,” Jim Lentz, CEO for the North America region, said in a news release.

“This is the most significant change we’ve made to our North American operations in the past 50 years, and we are excited for what the future holds,” he added.

JLL represented Toyota in the national search, according to a spokesman for the CRE firm.

“JLL is proud to partner with Toyota on its North American Headquarters project,” the spokesperson told CPE.

The firm used a multidisciplinary team lead by Meredith O’Connor and Michael Sessa of its Chicago office and Paul Whitman and Brad Selner from JLL’s Dallas office, according to the spokesperson.

Toyota already has a $2.3 billion manufacturing facility in San Antonio, Texas, where it builds Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks and provides about 2,900 jobs.

Perry, who has campaigned in other states for companies to relocate to Texas, said the state will be giving Toyota $40 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, a fund created in 2003 to grow businesses and create jobs. It is not yet known what incentives the city of Plano may be providing.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said Toyota would bring about $140 million in new tax revenues to the city. He said the negotiations had been “non-stop” since February.

The Dallas Regional Chamber said in a statement Monday that its Economic Development team along with city, state and business officials had been “working long hours on this project for a number of months, and we’re thrilled to see those efforts pay off.”

Toyota also announced that it was expanding the Toyota Technical Center in York Township, Mich., near Ann Arbor, to accommodate the relocation of direct procurement from the Erlanger, Ky., site. The auto maker said it plans to construct a new facility in York, subject to final approval of state and local incentives, to handle about 250 jobs coming from Erlanger. It will also build a new facility in Georgetown, Ky., to accommodate about 300 production engineering positions currently at Erlanger.

After moving from its existing headquarters, Toyota will continue to have about 2,300 employees in California, where the Japanese automaker first located in the 1950s. It will also maintain about 8,200 employees in Kentucky and continue to have offices in the New York City area and Washington, D.C.