Toyota’s move to Plano took another step forward on Tuesday.
The automaker officially broke ground on the 100 acre site in West Plano that will become its consolidated corporate headquarters.
“To actually start to move dirt, there’s permanence about that,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, after a Toyota Tundra truck drove in to dramatically move the first ceremonial soil.
“It brings the spotlight to our community, but it’s really the quality of life in Plano that’s attracting the companies like this,” said Harry LaRosiliere, Plano’s mayor.
“If people think Plano’s completely built out, they don’t know Plano.”
According to LaRosiliere, Toyota’s move puts Plano in the national spotlight, adding other companies are currently in negotiations with the city to also make a move.
He says, specifically, companies that often do business with Toyota are now in the mix.
“There’s more to come – for sure,” he said.
Toyota is the anchor of the Legacy West development.
DFW developer Fehmi Karahan plans to add apartments, residential units, commercial space and more to the land surrounding the corporate headquarters.
Karahan also developed the nearby Shops at Legacy in West Plano. Legacy West is described as a “continuation” of that project.
As ground breaks, Toyota employees are also moving into the area.
Alba Reyes relocated to uptown Dallas four months ago from her home in New York.
“I’m excited to be part of the first group of pioneers,” she said, adding that Texas is now "home."
Toyota has about 50 employees that have already relocated to DFW.
The automaker’s headquarters will have room for about 4,000 jobs, which will include relocated employees and new local talent.