Taking Stock in the Corridor

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As one of the fastest-growing areas in North Texas, the Town of Addison has long been regarded as a popular destination for residents and visitors alike throughout the U.S.

Home to more than a thousand privately-owned companies and 28 publicly-held companies, Addison and the North Dallas Corridor is increasingly becoming known as a desirable place to do business. With easy access from the North Dallas Tollway and the George Bush Turnpike, as well as proximity to Dallas, Plano and other nearby business districts, Addison is seen as the epicenter of the Metroplex and more companies are taking notice, especially publicly-owned companies.

In addition to reporting their financial performance each quarter and complying with rules and regulations monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), publicly-owned companies have the increasing pressure to respond to their shareholders, employees and customers – making it more and more important to carefully choose where to locate their central hub of operations.

“We’re always looking for ways to be as business-friendly as possible and support the companies that choose Addison as their home,” said Orlando Campos, economic development director for the Town of Addison. “We are in the midst of an economic boom with several redevelopment projects underway that will continue to improve residential areas and attract more jobs for growth.”

Evidently there are certain key factors that are weighed carefully when publicly-owned companies choose to operate their business in the Addison and North Dallas Corridor, such as a business-friendly environment, desirable location, and demographics.

Within close proximity to DFW Airport and Love Field Airport, as well as easy access to Downtown Dallas, Addison’s location is increasingly attractive for business prospects.

For Atmos Energy Corporation, one of the country’s largest natural-gas-only distributors, the decision to locate its headquarters in the North Dallas Corridor was an easy one. The company considered multiple factors such as visibility, convenience to amenities (shopping, restaurants, hotels, health clubs and medical facilities) as well as the overall workforce quality.

“At Atmos Energy, our employees are what make us a great company. Therefore, the decision to locate our headquarters in North Dallas just made sense,” said Kim Cocklin, President and CEO. “We needed an office space that was centrally located for the majority of our employees. And this has proven to be the most enjoyable part of being in North Dallas.”

Conveniently located right off LBJ Freeway and the North Dallas Tollway, Atmos Energy enjoys several benefits, including convenient access to amenities, the Galleria Mall and restaurants such as Chamberlain’s, III Forks and Mi Piaci.

The centralized location has afforded Atmos Energy other benefits such as access to a neighborhood with a strong school system, a business-friendly environment and the ability to attract and retain a high-quality workforce.

According to Cocklin, the business growth at Atmos Energy is directly correlated to the health and vitality of the communities they serve in the North Dallas Tollway area.

“We enjoy the benefits of Class A office space at very competitive rates and progressive and forward-thinking city government officials and agencies,” said Cocklin. “The pro-business environment in North Dallas has been a benefit and a blessing for Atmos Energy. We are able to participate in very active chamber organizations to retain and attract business, as well as promote the quality infrastructure in the area to support companies and employees.”

Prior to moving to its current location, PMFG, a leading provider of custom engineered systems that ensure the delivery of energy is safe, efficient and clean, had nearly seven decades of operation here in North Dallas Corridor. Therefore, its primary focus was a convenient location.

“We wanted a location that was still centrally located to our employee base and one that would provide the needs for recruiting this generation’s employees,” said Peter Burlage, CEO. “Geographically it fit well with the location of our employee’s residents.”

Another key factor was a pro-business environment. According to Burlage, the government organization in this are easy to work with and responsive to inquiries.

“With the vast number of regulations that are imposed on a public company, it’s very important that the company has excellent professional advisors and this area has that level of expertise readily available,” said Burlage.

Close proximity to key customer locations and access to a myriad of amenities was also crucial. “Our manufacturing facilities are located in North Denton County, many of our professional service providers are located in the Downtown Dallas or North Dallas area and the majority of our customers are national and international, so the proximity to DFW Airport is beneficial,” said Burlage. “Also this is a great location to host our national and international clients. The options for entertainment are numerous here in Addison as well as the surrounding areas.”

Having central location with proximity to various amenities was also paramount for Ashford Hospitality Trust, a self-administered real estate investment trust focused on investing in the hospitality industry.

“Our company headquarters has been in Addison for decades and we found that its location was second to none,” said Rob Hays, Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance & Strategy. “Since we have employees all over the Metroplex, having a central location and easy access was crucial.  We have access to great employees with a great location and high quality of life. ”

With nearly all of its 125 hotel properties located outside the North Dallas Corridor, the company doesn’t necessarily rely on the local government for the quality of their business environment.

“The business environment is definitely friendly,” said Hays. “We enjoy the breadth of amenities and businesses that surround us. I am also overwhelmed by the number of choices that we have for restaurants for company functions and meetings. Basically, you’re close to about everything.”

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At Brinker International, one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies including Chili’s Bar & Grill and Maggiano’s Little Italy, finding a home that fosters engagement and growth for their employees (affectionately known internally as “BrinkerHeads”) was a key decision.

Starting with the first Chili’s on Greenville Avenue in 1975, Brinker created a home away from home for its more than one million guests every day. In 1985, the company chose Addison as its corporate headquarters and its second home.

“The North Dallas Corridor provided the space and accommodations our company needed when seeking a corporate home in the mid-1980s,” said Annette Green, Brinker’s director of Diversity & Inclusion.

Brinker originally chose its corporate campus location on the southwest corner of 635 and Hillcrest Road in Dallas because of its natural beauty, as the four key buildings are surrounded by a variety of trees and a small creek. The natural setting has been the home for many annual outdoor events at the company, including its St. ChiliHead Day, Officer Cookout and Fall Festival.

“Since our corporate offices opened in 1985, Addison and North Dallas have continued to boom, fostering a great business environment for continued growth and ingenuity in a variety of fields. It’s an area that BrinkerHeads truly love, as it offers a more centralized home base in the Dallas Metroplex,” said Green.

While the company cannot disclose specific tax or sales figures, executives credit the North Dallas Corridor for inspiring continual growth and evolution and providing a great corporate environment for nearly 30 years.

The benefits to work in Addison are numerous, and growing evidence shows that it’s becoming more of a boardroom – rather than bedroom – community where companies can prosper. With more than 170 restaurants, 17 public parks, 22 hotels, and countless shopping and entertainment venues, Addison is home to a wealth of amenities that appeal to a number of companies.

“We’re focused on building a strong and vibrant niche here in Addison and the North Dallas Corridor and becoming more competitive,” said Campos. “Whether companies are publicly-owned or not, the same benefits apply. Businesses are in business to make money; so what affects the bottom line of one type of company will have the same effect on the other at the local level, such as location, quality of place, low tax rate, and skilled labor force.”

With a growing population of more than 15,000, Addison attracts a highly-educated and diverse workforce to the area. According to Campos, the average earning wage in Addison is $60,000 – higher than the average county wages – and there are more than 70,000 jobs based in Addison alone. Plus each day, the city attracts more than 100,000 people from North Texas to work and do business.

As the North Dallas Corridor continues to grow and expand upon its unique assets, such as convenient location, plethora of amenities and a highly-skilled workforce, it will be no surprise to see more publicly-owned companies choose to call Addison their home.

-By Rosalynn Vasquez

 

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