Uber Cuts 2,500 Planned Jobs in Deep Ellum Site, Pulls Out of Government Incentives

NBC 5 News

Uber pulled out of all local and state government incentives Thursday as the ride-sharing company announced it would shrink its plans for the planned Deep Ellum offices.

The company had originally promised to create 3,000 jobs with the opening of a new hub in Deep Ellum but said "dramatic impacts" from the pandemic had reduced the capacity of the office at the Epic to 500 employees.

"We are concentrating our efforts on our core mobility and delivery platforms and resizing our company to match the realities of our business, which has led us to the difficult decision of reducing our future Dallas office capacity down to 500 employees," an Uber spokesperson said in a statement Thursday.

In August 2019, Uber signed economic incentive agreements at the local, municipal and state levels totaling over $36 million in grants and tax abatements.

Of that $36 million, $24 million came from the state's corporate incentive fund, the Texas Enterprise Fund, the largest amount a company operating in Dallas Fort-Worth received since 2018.

The Dallas City Council approved a $9 million package to lure Uber to North Texas in August 2019. Other incentives from the Dallas County Commissioners included a 50% abatement of Dallas County taxes and a 90% abatement of business property taxes for 10 years.

But those tax abatements were subject to creating at least 2,500 jobs with a salary of at least $100,000 by January 2023.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced the city of Dallas is terminating its hiring-based incentive agreement with Uber in a statement Thursday.

Johnson called the incentive package between Uber and the city of Dallas a win for all groups involved in 2019. But he said he was "disappointed but not surprised" by Uber's decision Thursday due to the "significant economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic."

"Throughout the last year and a half, Uber has been an excellent partner to the city," Johnson said in a statement Thursday. "We are heartened that Uber remains committed to Dallas and to employing hundreds of people in our city center. We expect to continue working together in the years ahead as we build for the future and make Dallas an internationally recognized hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

According to the Dallas Morning News's Dom DiFurio, Uber said it currently employs about 200 people at the planned Deep Ellum offices.

DiFurio also reported the city of Dallas expects a $25,000 payment for permitting expenses to be repaid by the company, according to a memo sent to city council members from Eric Johnson, Dallas's head of economic development and neighborhood services.

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