You Won't Believe How Toyota Broke Ground
No golden shovels were necessary at the groundbreaking Tuesday for Toyota’s new North American HQ. Instead, a San Antonio-made 2015 TRD Pro Series Tundra plowed the dirt that kicked off construction of the $350M project.
Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz (right, with Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere) says the 100-acre site just east of Legacy at SH 121 will feature a 1M SF campus, which is slated for a late 2016 or early 2017 completion.
Check out the video of the ground-plowing Toyota (for its new HQ). Jim tells us the large TOYOTA letters (which are 10 feet tall and 64 feet wide) will find their way to the campus. Inside each letter are native Texan Yaupon Holly trees, which represent wish trees (a Japanese cultural tradition). The tags you see in the trees came from Plano ISD Academy High School students, who contributed handwritten notes representing their wishes, dreams, hopes and inspirations. The notes will be collected from the holly trees and placed in a time capsule at the new HQ, Jim tells us. The trees will be planted permanently at the Toyota HQ.
Jim (left, with JLL’s Roger Staubach and Brad Selner) tells us that Toyota selected JLL as the project manager and has filed a preliminary site plan with the City of Plano. He also tells us that the San Antonio plant has assembled 1 million pickups (the Tundra and Tacoma). Brad tells us Toyota’s decision to come to Plano and North Texas is a great validation of the area. It also highlights the benefits companies get from doing business here, like the high quality of life for employees, deep/educated labor pool, low cost of operation and a business environment designed to allow business to thrive. All of those things distinguishes this area, Brad tells us. He also expects the corporate relocation trend to continue as companies are pressed to operate more efficiently and strive to hire the best talent.
Everyone looked pretty relaxed sans hard hats and golden shovels. Joining in on the photo op are reps from the developer, KDC; architect, Corgan Associates; and JLL as project manager. Toyota is in the midst of the design process, and formal construction is set to begin in the next several weeks.