AT&T to spend millions on an ‘urban-tech’ Dallas campus; to add 1,300 workers

Todd Short

AT&T Inc. will stay at its four-building, 2 million-square-foot complex in downtown Dallas. It plans to spend millions in upgrades. Photo: Jack Plunkett

via Candace Carlisle, Dallas Business Journal

Telecom giant AT&T plans to spend millions renovating its downtown Dallas headquarters and adjacent plazas to create an “urban-tech center,” as it plans to add more than 1,300 employees in the next few years.

The Dallas-based company has been searching for a new corporate home in North Texas, which has included options — including new development — in downtown Dallas and a possible executive office in Frisco.

But AT&T (NYSE: T) wanted to stay in downtown Dallas, which has been the company’s home, said John Stephens, AT&T’s CFO and senior vice president.

“We want to stay and create a unique, inviting space — not only for our employees — but for all,” said Stephens, in a prepared statement. “If we’re able to move ahead, we believe the project will draw people to south downtown Dallas. It could offer considerable long-term economic benefits to area businesses, hotels, restaurants and the city.”

Stephens said the company is working alongside the city, DART and advocacy group Downtown Dallas Inc., as well as other stakeholders.

The existing four-building, 2 million-square-foot complex at Akard and Commerce streets will be revamped to include venues for entertainment, landscaping and well-lit, wide sidewalks to give employees, residents and visitors a destination in the city’s central business district.

At completion, the campus would be called AT&T Discovery District. A construction timeline was not immediately available from AT&T.

CBRE represented AT&T in its longtime real estate search, which caused developers to present plans for new high-rise buildings within the CBD.

The company told the Dallas Morning News it plans on hiring more than 7,000 employees in the next few years. Since moving its headquarters to Dallas in 2008, AT&T has doubled its number of employees and spent $100 million upgrading its downtown Dallas four-building complex.

Currently, there are nearly 5,700 people within the company’s existing downtown Dallas campus and plans to continue making significant capital improvements to its real estate, which will include an outdoor space, retail locations and free Wi-Fi.

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