Plans for Uber in Dallas Move Forward

In Industry Newsby Bradford

Officials to Vote on Tax Breaks for Uber to Create Thousands of Jobs

COSTAR NEWS ARTICLE – Officials are moving the ball forward on an office project that might house major operations for ride-hailing tech firm Uber Technologies in Dallas, the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States. However, Uber is eyeing other U.S. cities and plans to make a final decision this fall.

Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management filed paperwork for the second phase of The Epic at 2500 Pacific Ave. The company recently completed construction on the first office building at 2550 Pacific Ave. in Dallas.

Uber is considering the two buildings for an administrative office, which would become the company’s largest employment center outside of its headquarters in San Francisco, according to filings with the Dallas County Commissioners Court. The filings show Uber would lease part of 2550 Pacific Ave. and all of 2500 Pacific Ave.

The Commissioners Court is seeking to offer Uber a 10-year, 50% tax abatement on real property and a 10-year, 90% tax abatement on business personal property.

To meet the requirements of the proposed tax abatement, Uber would need to create 2,500 new jobs by Jan. 1, 2023, with the number of jobs increasing to 3,000 by Jan. 1, 2025. The average salary of these jobs would need to be at least $100,000, thus making this deal the largest employment generating and highest-paying abatement project in the county’s history.

The Commissioners Court plans to vote on the proposal next week.

Dallas-Fort Worth is a top-five tech market in North America, only ranking behind the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Toronto with 169,290 tech-related jobs, according to CBRE’s latest Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranks 50 U.S. and Canadian markets on their ability to attract and grow tech talent. This concentration of talent makes Dallas-Fort Worth the tech capital of Texas, according to a CBRE broker.

The Dallas area also added more than 1.1 million residents in the past decade, the most in the nation, according to U.S. Census data.

Meanwhile, Westdale’s new office building is projected to cost $165 million to develop. In all, ber expects to spend $25 million on personal property and another $100 million in tenant build-out of the space, according to the filings.

An Uber spokesman confirmed Dallas is a candidate for a “major expansion by Uber,” but the company has yet to make a final decision on its ongoing real estate search.

In an email to CoStar News, Uber spokesman Travis Considine said, “Uber is evaluating adding a significant number of jobs in Dallas and investing directly in the community. Our team is currently discussing the opportunity with state and local leaders and we hope to make a decision before the fall.”

Earlier this year, Westdale landed $140 million in bonds on Israel’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The funding was expected to help fuel a second phase of The Epic, but Westdale executives have kept fairly quiet and have yet to respond to multiple interview requests.

The Epic is located in Deep Ellum, a neighborhood just east of downtown Dallas that is known as a restaurant, retail, bar and club destination with limited options to set up a big office.

Hines, a Houston-based development firm, is also proposing a 16-story, 213,311-square-foot office project at 2700 Commerce St. in the neighborhood, but it has yet to break ground. Construction isn’t expected to begin on the project until a tenant signs a lease, but Hines is currently shopping the project to would-be users.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE – CANDICE CARLISLE