Canadian utility to break ground on Plano high-rise
10:27 AM CST on Thursday, November 18, 2010
By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News
Construction will start in about two weeks on the only high-rise office project now in the works for the Dallas area.
The three-building Plano complex will house operations for EnCana Oil & Gas (U.S.A.) Inc.
Almost 1,000 people could eventually work in the towers on the Dallas North Tollway in the Legacy Town Center. EnCana bought the building site this week and is ready to move ahead with the first 13-story tower.
The Canadian energy company, which has operations in several locations, including a main office near Galleria Dallas, bought the 7 acres of land from Legacy Town Center developer Karahan Cos.
"They expect more than 500 people to work there when it opens in early 2012 and will increase employment to 1,000 plus," developer Fehmi Karahan said. "It's a huge commitment in times like these for a company to build this project."
The first 300,000-square-foot building will go up starting in early December just north of Legacy Drive, Karahan said.
"It will only be about 12 months of construction – a very fast pace," he said. "EnCana will be the largest single employer in Legacy Town Center."
EnCana is also planning two other 12-story office buildings for the site.
Dallas-based developer KDC will build EnCana's new offices and lease the buildings back to the Calgary-based company.
KDC officials declined to talk about the project.
Corgan Associates is the architect.
EnCana doesn't intend to move large numbers of people from outside the Dallas area to fill the new buildings, company spokesman Alan Boras said.
The company has expanded its operations here in recent years.
"We've been in Dallas for a number of years, and it's organic growth," Boras said. "It's a long-term plan to manage our office needs there."
Legacy Town Center – a popular mixed-use development on the east side of the tollway, with shops, restaurants, apartments and offices – is already home to large employers including Alliance Data Systems Corp. and Publicis.
The city of Plano is preparing economic support for the development, which will be one of the largest under way in the Collin County community.
"The city will be considering incentives for that project on Monday," said Sally Bane, executive director of the Plano Economic Development Board. "The city has gone to great lengths to participate in getting the company to come to Plano."
Cushman & Wakefield of Texas has been representing EnCana in its hunt for a new office location.
EnCana is one of the largest natural gas producers in North America , with operations stretching from western Canada to Texas and Louisiana.
The company employs more than 3,900 workers in Canada and the U.S.
Next year, EnCana will move its headquarters into a new 58-story building in downtown Calgary, Alberta.