Monday, August 15, 2016

It's confirmed: Charles Schwab to open $100M campus, bringing 1,200 new jobs

Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed Tuesday that Charles Schwab Corp.(NYSE: SCHW) plans to develop a new $100 million regional campus in Westlake, which will house 1,200 new jobs upon completion, confirming last week's Dallas Business Journal story about the move.

"Texas remains the brightest beacon of free enterprise in the nation, and Charles Schwab's decision to expand its operations in North Texas is yet another testament to the Lone Star state's promising economic climate," said Governor Abbott, in a written statement.

Circle T Ranch will become a 2,500 acre mixed-use, master-planned community by Hillwood Development.

"By expanding their facilities, pouring millions into the Texas economy and creating more than a thousand new jobs, Charles Schwab is investing in the North Texas community and bringing more opportunities for our world-class workforce," he added.

As part of the deal, Governor Abbott with the help of the Texas Enterprise Fund has offered Charles Schwab a grant of $6 million on the basis of the firm planning to create at least 1,200 new jobs over the next decade at the proposed Westlake campus. This is the largest such grant given by the Texas Enterprise Fund during Governor Abbott's administration.

The new $100 million, 500,000-square-foot campus will sit on a total of about 70 acres and will anchor a larger proposed Circle T mixed-use development, which will be developed in a partnership with Fort Worth-based Hillwood and The Howard Hughes Corp. of Dallas.

Westlake plans to pony up an estimated $1.3 million in property tax abatement savings and sales tax refunds over a 10-year period based on estimated capital investment and job creation. The deal is pending final approvals.

Charles Schwab expects to get an estimated $1 million in property tax abatement savings over the same time period. This deal has also yet to be finalized.

The land deal closed in mid-July. Terms of the acquisition were undisclosed and officials with Charles Schwab, Hillwood and Howard Hughes declined comment at the time.

The new campus will give Charles Schwab room to expand beyond the 130,000-square-foot office in nearby Roanoke, which can accommodate about 500 employees.

The financial services firm is ramping up its recruiting efforts in and around Westlake, said Dennis Howard, an executive vice president at Charles Schwab.

"Like Austin, where we already have approximately 1,500 employees, and El Paso where we are building our presence, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is an important location for Schwab to better serve our clients," Howard said, in a statement. "We look forward to significantly expanding our footprint there over the coming years."

A Charles Schwab spokeswoman said the firm is "just in the beginning stages of the process," but said the company hopes to break ground in the second half of 2017. Completion is slated for the end of 2018, with phased move-ins scheduled in early 2019.

Charles Schwab has been circling North Texas for years with rumors of a large expansion, but, until the land deal closed in July, real estate sources weren't sure when the firm would make a move. The company has yet to hire an architect or a general contractor.

Written by Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal