The commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle is forecasting thousands of new office workers for an approximately ten square mile area in West Plano and Frisco.
Officials with the firm said the Greater Legacy had an employment base of approximately 88,000 employees two years ago. JLL’s projections anticipate another 46,700 new jobs will be added over the next three years.
“In Plano, there’s probably 60 percent of people who have some sort of college degree,” said JLL Managing Director in Dallas Steve Thelen. “There is a good strong labor base. Companies like coming here and recruiting people.”
Thelen said the demand for office space has gone up dramatically, which is why more vertical construction is being built in the area which has typically seen sprawling corporate campuses. Demand for houses has also gone up and Thelen anticipates a continued movement to DFW’s far northern suburbs.
“These new people, they’re going to move to Celina, Prosper,” said Thelen. “They’re going to move north along that 380 corridor.”
Thelen says the business district in this part of Collin County is becoming its own market, where people live, work and use amenities without having to travel south of the PGBT.
“Interestingly, we are net importers of jobs during the day,” said Plano’s Mayor Harry LaRosiliere. “There’s about fifty or sixty thousand people from cities to the north that drive into Plano to work so we anticipate to see that continue.”
LaRosiliere says the city established a transit management association in the Legacy business park, where businesses are coming up with solutions like encouraging ride sharing or staggering start times in offices.
“We did a study that said 40 percent of the drivers are willing to do something different. So if we could accomplish even half that, we would make a significant dent in the congestion,” said LaRosiliere.
“Our problem is other people’s envy,” LaRosiliere added. “We’ll take that with the idea that we’re creating jobs and providing prosperity to the entire community.”
Along with corporations like Toyota, smaller companies are moving in too, drawn by Fortune 500 groups creating a footprint in Collin County.
“We’re a smaller company. We’re growing, but we do business with big business and I just don’t see a slow-down. I don’t see it,” said Jeff Bay-Anderson.
Bay-Anderson is Vice President of Business Development for Zenergy Brands, which works with other companies and organizations to reduce energy costs. It moved from an office space in Dallas to the We Work building in West Plano six months ago.
Nathan Lenahan, General Manager for We Work in Texas says Plano is We Work’s first foray into setting up a suburban co-working space.
Lenahan says Plano offers a unique intersection of smaller and large businesses, while managing to attract large Fortune 500 companies.
Within sixty days of opening, Lenahan says it was at capacity and had to expand to a second floor. To meet demand, it’s now adding office space in a third location. It’s also in west Plano.