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‘Help Wanted’ Sign Still Out at Toyota’s Glittering New North American Headquarters

Japanese automaker celebrates opening of its 100-acre, $1 billion-plus, 2.1 million-square-foot campus in Plano.
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About 200 jobs are still up for grabs at Toyota Motor North America, which spent Thursday celebrating the official opening of its new, 2.1 million-square-foot North American headquarters in Plano. The open positions, in fields ranging from engineering and sales to finance, are among about 1,000 jobs the Japanese automaker says it’s filling mostly with North Texans.

They will help round out a total work force of 4,200 permanent employees at Toyota’s glittering glass-and-limestone campus off Headquarters Drive, where five of the seven mammoth new buildings are now open. (The other two will open later this month.) About 2,500 employees are already on the premises, many of them hailing from Toyota’s former headquarters in Torrance, Calif. Others are coming from company operations in Kentucky and New York.

Toyota says the $1 billion-plus project on 100 acres was built in just three years, or two to four years faster than such projects usually take. By consolidating the automaker’s various U.S. functions in one central spot, CEO Jim Lentz said, the Plano campus symbolizes Toyota’s commitment to more “collaboration, innovation, and faster decision-making.

“We’re going to be much quicker to respond” to the market, Lentz said, explaining the headquarters’ benefit to the consumer. “We are a consensus-driven company, and always will be. Which is great—once you come to a consensus!”

While 90 percent of employees at the company’s former headquarters in Torrance toiled in individual work areas, with perhaps 10 percent to 15 percent of the space there given over to conference rooms, the split at the Plano campus is more like 50/50 between cubicles or offices and collaborative space, Toyota says.

Leading a tour of the headquarters Thursday, Doug Beebe, the company’s general manager of real estate and facilities, stressed the amount of “natural light” in the buildings, and the fact that the cubicle walls are relatively low. He also pointed out that each employee has a locker-like closet, as well as a “sit-stand” workstation. Other amenities at the Plano campus include a proliferation of whiteboards, “well-being” and meeting rooms, a living plant wall, a convenience store, a pharmacy, a credit-union facility, a fitness center (complete with rock-climbing wall), and 11 places to eat.

North Texas companies that led the project were KDC Real Estate Development & Investments, which developed and built the campus; architect Corgan Associates, which designed it; and Austin Commercial, which managed the construction. JLL was the tenant representative, and Business Interiors installed the Steelcase workstations.

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