Many Of DFW's Corporate Relocations In 2019 Were Poached From San Francisco
Dallas-Fort Worth wooed major Fortune 500 companies and tech giant Uber to the Metroplex this year with promises of a robust workforce and a business-friendly climate.
In some cases, these companies plan to open regional hubs in Dallas, like Uber, while others intend to move their entire corporate headquarters to DFW. In many cases, they already have.
A majority of these firms share one trait: They moved from the Bay Area to DFW.
From late 2018 through the end of this year, Dallas-Fort Worth received notice that San Francisco-based McKesson Corp., Core-Mark and Charles Schwab would either be moving, or had moved, their corporate headquarters to DFW from the Bay Area.
A fourth company — ride-sharing giant Uber — didn't abandon its San Francisco headquarters altogether, but it did make a sizable regional investment in Dallas, announcing plans to lease space inside The Epic II office building in Dallas' Deep Ellum district for a regional office.
So what gives? Why is DFW a magnet for San Francisco companies?
A clue is found in Forbes' "Best Places For Business and Careers" list, which ranks DFW No. 2 behind Seattle for the best places to operate your company or manage a career.
San Francisco is ranked No. 18 on that list, only two notches above the Fort Worth-Arlington submarket despite the Bay Area's abundance of startups and tech companies.
Bisnow searched our archives looking for the top eight corporate relocations or regional hub investments made in DFW this year, and came up with the following:
1. Uber Bets Big On Dallas And DFW
Uber Technologies may not be making the Big D its corporate headquarters, but it did announce plans for an expansive regional hub in the Deep Ellum District to accommodate up to 3,000 employees.
The ride-sharing giant announced in August that Uber would move into 450K SF at Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management's 23-story office tower, known as The Epic II, which is under construction at the The Epic mixed-use development in Deep Ellum.
Uber's regional hub makes sense considering the ride-sharing giant's affiliated brand Uber Air already has Uber-flying car experiments taking place inside Frisco Station in the North Dallas suburbs.
The landing of Uber in DFW as a tenant was a big win for Dallas and Deep Ellum and proves that even with its headquarters firmly planted in California, Uber desired a strong Texas location for future growth.
2. Charles Schwab To Move S.F. Headquarters To Westlake
DFW's wealthy Westlake suburb scored a major win in November when securities brokerage Charles Schwab said it would buy TDAmeritrade and move its combined headquarters from San Francisco to the company's existing space in the DFW suburb of Westlake.
While Charles Schwab maintained it would keep a footprint in San Francisco, the company's decision to choose the DFW area added to the narrative that California companies, particularly in San Francisco, are shopping Texas for better deals.
“Both companies have a sizable presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Charles Schwab said in a statement at the time. “This will allow the combined firm to take advantage of the central location of the new Schwab campus to serve as the hub of a network of Schwab branches and operations centers that span the entire U.S. and beyond.”
3. Core-Mark Also Sets Up Shop In Westlake
Consumer goods distributor Core-Mark made the same journey this year, transferring its corporate headquarters from South San Francisco to DFW.
The firm, like Charles Schwab, landed in Westlake, which became its official headquarters in May after announcing the move in late 2018.
4. McKesson Corp. Shifts Corporate Campus From San Francisco To Las Colinas
Then, you have McKesson Corp., which announced plans to relocate its San Francisco area headquarters to DFW in the latter part of 2018.
The healthcare supply chain management firm said in November of 2018 that it would move its corporate headquarters to the DFW submarket of Las Colinas by April 1.
At the time of the announcement, McKesson already had a Las Colinas campus, but decided to make it the firm's permanent home base.
“We are excited to strengthen our presence in Texas and make Las Colinas our official global headquarters,” McKesson Corp. Chairman and CEO John Hammergren said in a statement at the time. “Governor Abbott and the Irving/Las Colinas community have provided tremendous support since we opened our Las Colinas campus last April."
5. PGA Of America Comes To Frisco
The DFW suburb of Frisco kept its sports-focused mojo going this year with the January announcement that the city landed The PGA of America headquarters.
The sports-focused organization plans to uproot from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to Frisco by mid-2022.
But, the move is not just about PGA's corporate offices. The announcement came with additional plans to create championship golf courses in Frisco, a resort hotel and luxury office developments, furthering Frisco's reputation as a sports, entertainment and corporate hub in the North Dallas suburbs.
Fort Worth Ups The Ante, Winning International Corporate Players
The final three corporate relocations on our list decided that Fort Worth — or Cowtown — was worth a major move. The announcements came not long after Fort Worth economic development leaders created plans to be more aggressive in attracting new businesses to the city.
6. KT&G USA Corp.
The fifth-largest tobacco firm in the world, KT&G Corp. signed a 10-year lease in April to plant its U.S. headquarters and distribution center in North Fort Worth. The Korean company was the first tenant to move into the Fossil Creek Crossing industrial development at 5501 Sandshell Drive in Fort Worth, which fronts Interstate 35W and offers 213K SF of Class-A space.
7. Mid-States Distributing Co.
Fort Worth really struck gold when farm store retailer Mid-States Distributing Co. announced plans in March to move its headquarters from Minneapolis to the Mercantile Center in North Fort Worth. The retailer is considered a multibillion-dollar company.
The 65-year-old company bought a two-story building in Fort Worth at 2800 Meacham Blvd. for its 100-plus corporate employees. The building, which formerly housed the American Paint Horse Association, was officially acquired by Mid-States with the APHA moving its own headquarters to the Fort Worth Stockyards Horse and Mule Barns, Bisnow reported.
8. Chip 1 Exchange
Chip 1 Exchange out of Southern California also announced in 2019 it would move its U.S. headquarters to Fort Worth, with the firm planning to occupy a 15K SF building at 701 East Eight St.
"With recent company growth, Chip 1 looked at multiple locations when choosing the best fit for expansion,” Chip 1 Exchange Chief Operating Officer Damon Pouya said in a statement when the deal was announced in July.
“Based on the economic growth potential and demand in workforce, Fort Worth will be a great fit for our expansion into Texas. Fort Worth offers ideal resources and plenty of eager, willing employees looking to learn and grow in an emerging technological marketplace,” he said.