Spring has sprung, the wildflowers are starting to bloom, and Richardson is renewing itself as it observes the 20th anniversary of the Telecom Corridor® trademark. Only about a decade ago, Richardson’s three largest employers were Nortel, Alcatel and Ericsson – all makers of telecom equipment. Today, AT&T, a telecom services company, is the largest local employer, but banking (Bank of America) and insurance (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas) occupy the other top spots.
Is Richardson still a Telecom Corridor? Absolutely! As long as communications is a component of technology, Richardson’s business base will be interwoven with many elements of telecom, even though they may be harder to distinguish when packaged with synergistic technologies.
Take data centers: Richardson is host to ten corporate or operator owned data centers comprising 925,000 square feet, with five more data centers totaling 426,000 square feet under construction or in the planning stages. Inside the bricks and mortar, data centers are all about computing power, data storage and the communications systems needed to transfer and transmit massive amounts of information. So when we talk about Cloud Computing these days, the main industry verticals involved are all of our old telecom friends, plus many new friends in the areas of software, electronic equipment, power electronics, and a very specialized form of real estate development.
Fittingly, the first telecom building ever built in what became the Telecom Corridor - “Building 401” on the Collins Radio campus - was repurposed as the first data center in Digital Realty Trust’s Datacenter Park. That transformation symbolizes the ever-evolving Telecom Corridor with communications as a foundational element.
What else is going on in the Telecom Corridor? After last year’s bumper crop that yielded some outstanding expansions and relocations involving Fossil, Ericsson, VCE and id Software, growth has continued this spring with 16 projects involving 1,046 new or retained Richardson jobs and 465,486 square feet of commercial office and flex space. (See accompanying chart.)
One of the most significant 2012 projects was the relocation of the 300-employee headquarters for Safety-Kleen, a clean-tech company, to Champion’s Tower 2600. The move is scheduled for September. Safety-Kleen offers an array of solutions for a sustainable planet, including a growing business in the recycling of used motor oil.
Another company stepping foot in Richardson for the first time is Genpact, LLC (NYSE: G) which has leased nearly 29,000 square feet at 3101 E. President George Bush Turnpike. Genpact is the epitome of a “world is flat” company with over 55,000 employees speaking 25 languages in 17 countries, and providing business process management services for Fortune-500 type companies. In its initial wave, Genpact will be creating 200 well-paid Richardson jobs with potentially many more to follow. In selecting a Richardson location for its first built-from-scratch US operation, Genpact cited the abundance of IT-skilled professionals and the proximity of UT Dallas as key factors.
Finally, Cassidian, formerly under the banner of EADS Telecom, is relocating its DFW operations to Richardson. The company provides advanced emergency communications systems, just like the one the company recently implemented for Richardson’s fire and police departments.
Going forward, Richardson is expecting a better than average year in economic development. The trends include more international activity, as Richardson has added a new Mayor’s Office of International Business that will seek out companies from technology-centric areas of the world, more out-of-state relocations (especially from the West Coast), and large office space users seeking the abundant big space block options in Richardson.
2012 Richardson Relocations and Expansions
|#||COMPANY||BUSINESS||TYPE||FROM||OCC.||ADDRESS||SQ. FT ||TYPE SPACE ||JOBS |
|1 ||InnerWireless||In-building wireless systems for hospitals, hotels, offices||Expansion||Richardson ||Lease||1155 Kas||30,000||Flex ||48 |
|2 ||Maverick Framing Inc.||Commercial/residential construction||Relocation||Wylie ||Lease ||601 N. Glenville Dr. ||5,500 ||Flex ||15 |
|3 ||Safety-Kleen ||Oil recycling, industrial cleaning, equipment & services (HQ)||Relocation ||Plano ||Lease ||2600 N. Central Expy ||85,200 ||Office ||300 |
|4||Rackspace Hosting ||Data center services provider ||Expansion ||Richardson ||Lease ||Datacenter Park ||58,200 ||DataCtr ||10 |
|5 ||Voss Solutions ||Cloud solution for complex unified communications ||Expansion ||Richardson ||Lease ||2301 N. Greenville #270 ||5,800||Office ||20 |
|6 ||Blue Telecom ||Telecom engineering services ||Expansion ||Richardson ||Lease ||2100 N. Greenville ||2,500 ||Office ||10 |
|7 ||K&B National Research ||Consumer testing ||Relocation ||Houston ||Lease ||1100 E. Campbell ||5,500 ||Office ||15 0|
|8 ||SOT Abrasives ||Industrial services - vibratory job shop ||Relocation ||Dallas ||Buy ||1681 Firman ||25,712 ||Flex ||10 |
|9||JP Everhart ||Hole-in-one insurance ||Renewal ||Richardson ||Lease ||1840 N. Greenville #178 ||15,000 ||Flex ||28 |
|10 ||Texas Capital Bank ||Back-office financial services ||Expansion ||Richardson ||Lease ||2350 Lakeside ||26,500 ||Office ||100 |
|11 ||Genpact LLC ||IT and business process outsourcing services ||Relocation ||Chicago ||Lease ||3101 PGBT #200 ||28,877 ||Office ||200 |
|12||Wildfire XM, LLC ||Digital and commercial printing ||Relocation ||Dallas ||Lease ||1161 W. Executive Dr. ||15,525 ||Flex ||20 |
|13||American Heart Association ||501c3 charitable organization ||Renewal ||Richardson ||Lease ||1100 E. Campbell ||17.473 ||Office ||60 |
|14 ||ASI Corp.||Hardware & software products distributor ||Renewal ||Richardson ||Lease ||Cardinal Tech ||30,000 ||Flex ||50 |
|15 ||Polytronix ||Design & mfg of electronic products ||Relocation ||Richardson||Buy ||701-735 N. Plano Rd. ||100,065 ||Flex ||90|
|16 ||Cassidian ||First-responder communications systems ||Relocation ||Frisco ||Lease ||1301 W. PGBT, Suites 150-160 ||13,634 ||Office ||70 |
| || Total||465,486|| ||1,046|