Friday, June 27, 2008

AT&T's HQ Dallas Bound; More CRE Plans Pending

DALLAS-In the coming weeks, AT& T Inc. will start moving its headquarters team from San Antonio to Downtown Dallas. Word on the street for weeks is that another corporate fish was about to be hooked, but the brand name was a closely guarded secret.

In a press release, AT&T's management team says the move to a corporate-owned, one-million-sf office building at 208 S. Akard St. will be completed by year's end. An AT&T spokesman tells that the company's management team will continue "to evaluate our long-term real estate needs" once it sets down in the CBD building. He says floors are being finished out right now for the first wave of transfers. AT&T inherited the CBD real estate, assessed at $85.6 million, when it took over Southwestern Bell, which has owned the complex since January 1985.

The spokesman says the 700-employee headquarters team will shift cities, with the 5,300-employee telecom operations group staying in San Antonio. AT&T occupies several buildings in San Antonio, with its headquarters at 175 E. Houston St. in the CBD. AT&T opened doors in 1992 in San Antonio when it moved from St. Louis.

"We're a growing global company with customers and operations around the world," Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, says in this afternoon's press release. "Being headquartered in Dallas will benefit our long-term growth prospects and human resources needs, and our ability to operate more efficiently, better serve customers and expand the business in the future."
The spokesman points to the 2005 merger as the impetus for the move. Ranked 10th on the Fortune 500 list, AT&T has 310,010 employees worldwide. "We made this a global company and that's why we're doing this," he says. Many of AT&T's key technology suppliers are on Dallas' employment roster: Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Nokia, Nortel, RIM and Samsung.

"We are excited that AT&T has selected Dallas as the location of its corporate headquarters," Robert A. Chereck, chairman of the Greater Dallas Chamber and Dallas regional president of Wells Fargo, says in a press release. "This announcement illustrates, once again, our region's merits as a location for corporate America."

By Connie Gore