By Candice Carlisle
Staff Writer | Dallas Business Journal
Bob Towsend, mayor of Richardson; Roger Craycraft, CEO of Safety-Kleen; Bill Sproull, CEO of Richardson Economic Development Partnership in Safety-Kleen's new headquarters.
Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. plans to begin moving its headquarters and 300 North Texas corporate employees to Richardson from Plano in September.
The oil recycling company signed a lease for 82,500 square feet at Tower 2600, located at 2600 North Central Expressway in Richardson, ending a two-year real estate search in the North Texas market.
The relocation will help Safety-Kleen align itself with the environmental goals of its customers, said CEO and President Robert Craycraft.
"Many of our customers have sustainability programs and either work in or own LEED-certified offices and buildings, and we believe they prefer to do business with companies that share their values - so it is not only the right thing to do, it is also smart business," Craycraft said.
The 229,000-square-foot, nine-floor building - formerly AT&T offices - near North Central Expressway and the President George Bush Turnpike was recently renovated by the landlord, Champion Partners. It is in the process of LEED and Energy Star certification.
The new headquarters in Richardson will be within a 30 minute commute for 73 percent of the 300 corporate employees.
Peery Wood and John Posten at Lincoln Property Co. represented Safety-Kleen in its real estate search. Mark Phariss, vice president and general counsel with Safety-Kleen, led the search.
Chuck Sellers and Jeff Wood of Peloton Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord, Champion Partners.
In a previous interview, Phariss said Safety-Kleen was looking for competitive lease rates as rents continued to climb at its Legacy Drive campus.
The average lease rate in the Legacy/Frisco submarket off the Dallas North Tollway is $24.33 per square foot, which is $3.24 more per square foot than the North Central Expressway submarket, according to research by Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.
Phariss projected that Safety-Kleen could save a million dollars each year with lower lease rates coupled with a 200,000 square feet reduced real estate footprint and the operating costs and savings associated with that reduction.
The company plans to finish its move to Richardson in October.
Along with Richardson, Safety-Kleen was considering relocating to Dallas.
But Safety-Kleen's relocation was important to help build Richardson's economic base, said Mayor Bob Townsend.
Safety-Kleen received a 50 percent tax abatement for the term if its seven-and-a-half-year lease from Richardson, said Bill Sproull, CEO and president of the Richardson Economic Development Partnership.
"We offered them a standard incentive package to relocate to Richardson," Sproull said. "When the company gets down to its final choices, that's when incentives become important."
Safety-Kleen is the latest company to set up shop in Richardson. Other Richardson-based companies include Samsung's North American headquarters, Fossil, Lennox International and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The momentum behind Safety-Kleen's relocation is important to Richardson, which has several large vacancies of office space that include the former Nortel Networks Corp. campus, the 1011 Galatyn building and the former Fossil headquarters, Sproull said.
"We certainly have the capacity to offer incentives as other companies take notice of Richardson," he said. "The thing that has sustained us through thick and thin are our white-collar, technical workers. It has been a great asset to the companies here."
A Kleen Move
Name: Safety-Kleen Systems Inc.
Business: Oil recycling company
Address: 5360 Legacy Drive, Building 2 Suite 100, Plano, 75024
Top Executive: Robert Craycraft, CEO and president
Corporate employees: 300
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