Monday is officially move-in day for about 250 of the estimated 4,000 employees who will eventually work at the new North American Headquarters of Toyota in Plano.
Two million square feet of newly-constructed office space near Texas 121 in Legacy West stands where wildflowers covered fields just a couple years ago.
Starting Monday, the company will move in 250 new employees every week throughout the summer. Nearly 3,000 employees are relocating to North Texas, many from the company’s former headquarters in Torrance, California. About 1,000 workers are expected to be hired locally
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“Toyota really was a game-changer for the City of Plano,” said Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, who announced plans for Toyota’s relocation exactly three years ago.
The recently re-elected mayor’s excitement is palpable.
“We’ve waited a long time for this and it’s finally here,” LaRosiliere said. “The fact that Toyota chose Plano really validates who we are as a community."
LaRosiliere said in the next nine to 12 months, Toyota, JP Morgan Chase and Liberty Mutual will bring an additional 10,000 to 12,000 jobs to the area.
Of the 3,000 Toyota employees relocating, Realtor Wanda Charles said she feels like she has met them all.
“I would say definitely, even three years ago, I would’ve never dreamed that it was going to be at this level,” Charles said of the impact Toyota has had on her business and her life.
Charles is part of the official Toyota relocation team made up of North Texas Realtors who have been recommended to the employees who are moving here. Since Jan. 1, Charles estimates she's sold more than $4.5 million worth of new homes to Toyota clients.
“Toyota is every conversation that I’m having in the day,” Charles said. “That word [Toyota] is huge around the North Dallas area right now. It is definitely something that [my business associate] Bethany and I have in our conversation at least, gosh, 50 times a day.”
But with the business boom, there will be some growing pains — namely, traffic. There are short-term solutions in place, including a Dallas Area Rapid Transit express bus and companies staggering their work hours.
But for LaRosiliere, it is more a matter of bringing the jobs to Plano and figuring out long-term solutions for the traffic down the road.
“I say our traffic problems are other people’s envy,” he added. “It’s all relative.”
LaRosiliere said Toyota will bring in about $70 million in direct and indirect tax revenue for the city over the next 10 years.