Could Las Colinas/Irving Be Amazon’s Ideal HQ2 Site?
Las Colinas/Irving has been growing quickly and positioning itself to make big-time bids for corporate moves. Panelists at last week’s Bisnow Las Colinas Development Update conference agreed the area is primed to receive new businesses with open arms, a nod to the Amazonian elephant in the room. Here are some of the ways Las Colinas/Irving checks Amazon’s boxes.
Access to mass transit on-site
This was a big talking point in both panels. Las Colinas has access to the Orange line of the DART system in its urban center. The DART is also in the process of expanding, which looks good for Las Colinas because it is a major requirement for HQ2.
Within 45 minutes of a major airport
Las Colinas is within 15 minutes of both DFW Airport and Love Field.
Stable, business-friendly environment
Irving/Las Colinas public officials, like panelists Maura Gast and Beth Bowman, are working very hard to make the area extremely competitive for corporate relocation purposes. The City of Irving has and is willing to dole out property tax reductions, and the office space up for lease in the private sector is priced competitively.
Close to an urban center
Las Colinas is close enough to Dallas to make recruiting and doing business fairly painless in regards to distance.
Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options
According to the panelists, there is a lot of room for creativity in Irving/Las Colinas. Whether or not the community thinks creatively in the eyes of Amazon, who knows? But the panelists indicated Irving/Las Colinas is willing to learn how to be whatever it needs to be for Amazon.
The area has a track record of supporting businesses with incentives and working across the public/private schism. According to the Irving Chamber of Commerce's website, incentives can reduce taxes by 30% or more for up to 10 years. Incentives are doled out on a case-by-case basis, meaning there could be even better incentive packages available for high-profile corporate suitors. (Ahem, Amazon.)
Hillwood Urban Senior Vice President Bill Brokaw said Las Colinas has access to 4 million people within a 20-minute radius. Access to Dallas, its universities and its educated workforce is a big check mark for Irving/Las Colinas.