Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Downtown Dallas & Uptown Real Estate News

Downtown Dallas & Uptown Real Estate News

Fluor chooses Las Colinas for new international headquarters

DALLAS (Dallas Business Journal ) - After a whirlwind search for space, Fluor Corp. has decided to build its new international headquarters in Las Colinas. The $10 billion engineering and construction giant announced in May it would move its home base from Orange County, Calif., to North Texas by early 2006, citing a desire to improve operational efficiencies and better serve its global clients.

Fluor (NYSE: FLR) has tapped Dallas-based Koll Development Co. to build a 120,000-square-foot office building on Las Colinas Boulevard, just north of Royal Lane. The project will sit on 26 acres near Citigroup's massive new three-building, 625,000-square-foot office complex, which Koll is developing nearby.

About 100 Fluor employees are expected to relocate from California. Another 100 will be hired locally, said Matt Heidelbaugh with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas. Heidelbaugh assisted lead broker Jeff Osborn, senior director in C&W's Orange County office, who handles Fluor Corp. real estate on a national basis.

"Fluor considered both existing properties and doing a build-to-suit," Heidelbaugh said. "Initially they wanted to be in by the end of the year, which greatly limited opportunities. Delaying things a few months enabled them to get exactly what they wanted."

Heidelbaugh said the real estate team "crammed six months of work into six weeks" to help Fluor speed up its decision-making process. Other sites in North Texas were considered, but Las Colinas was chosen due to its proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, excellent housing, quality labor pool and business and personal amenities, Heidelbaugh said.

"We're getting a lot of cooperation from Irving, which is very pro business," he said. "They're doing everything we've asked and more."

Fluor will become the fourth Fortune 500 company headquartered in Las Colinas, joining Exxon Mobil Corp. -- Fluor's biggest client -- Kimberly Clark and Commercial Metals.

The city of Irving is providing economic and other incentives. The full value of the package is still being worked out, said Chris Wallace, president and CEO of economic development for the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.

"We're going to complete the final contract soon," he said. "Besides the typical incentives, we added a lot of creative incentives, such as discounts for employees at local clubs and other businesses. The whole Irving business community really came together to support this. It was a real team effort."

Fluor also is pursuing incentives from the state of Texas.

Koll will break ground on the new headquarters in mid-July. The three-story building will include an auditorium, cafeteria and fitness center.

Andrew Boeckmann, Fluor Corp. chairman and CEO, said the new facility will play a pivotal role in the company's future success.

"We want the new Fluor Corp. headquarters to be representative of our company's achievements worldwide," he said. "The communities of greater Dallas offer very good quality-of-life choices for our employees, and Las Colinas is a location that supports our continuous efforts to enhance operational efficiency and client focus."