Monday, December 10, 2012

Engineering firm set to move regional office to downtown Dallas

A worldwide engineering and architecture firm plans to move more than 300 workers to a new regional office in downtown Dallas.
Jacobs Engineering Group is renting 81,000 square feet in the Harwood Center tower at Bryan and Harwood streets.
The California-based company will present its full plans for the operation at next week’s City Council meeting.
City officials will be asked to approve $300,000 in economic incentive grants to help pay for the office.
Jacobs has operations in two Dallas locations and at a building in downtown Fort Worth. The current Dallas offices are at 6688 N. Central Expressway and at 7950 Elmbrook Drive near Love Field.
The company has studied locations for a combined office for several months.
“Jacobs, being a major company, had a lot of different options,” said John Crawford, CEO of the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc. “I’m sure the incentives played into it, but at the end of the day, it was a combination of things that led them to select downtown.”
With the construction of thousands of new residential units and new public-sector amenities, downtown Dallas has attracted renewed interest from office business tenants.
“We are getting to look at a lot more deals than we were several years ago,” Crawford said. “All of that is building momentum, with the amount of space we have down here and competitive and economic office rental rates.”
Jacobs Engineering representatives did not respond to requests for details about the pending move.
Jacobs would be one of the largest suburban office tenants to make the move to downtown Dallas in recent years.
The company has agreed to lease more than three floors in the 36-story Harwood Center at 1999 Bryan. The building was constructed in 1982 and is owned by Fortis Property Group.
Harwood Center is on DART’s downtown rail line and is four blocks from the Arts District.
The company plans to spend $2 million on its new downtown office, according to city of Dallas documents.
The city expects the Jacobs consolidation to result in more than $9.6 million in economic activity downtown over 10 years.
To obtain all of the economic grants from the city, Jacobs will have to locate 350 people in the new office during the next two years.
Based in Pasadena, Jacobs has more than 200 offices in 25 countries with about 60,000 employees.
In 2007, Jacobs purchased Fort Worth-based engineering firm Carter & Burgess.
By STEVE BROWN real Estate Editor