On Tuesday, the topping-out party was held for Liberty Mutual’s 19-story, 1.1 million-square-foot campus in Legacy West, with close to 750 people in attendance to enjoy the views from the 8th floor and add their name to beams that will be placed on the building’s top floor. Employees with Balfour Beatty Construction worked to have the open-roof area ready to host the event after being hit with heavy rain the night before.
The $325 million campus will house its own medical center with available physical therapy services, two rooftop gardens, a full-service Starbucks, two conference centers, and a full-service cafeteria. Sean Murphy, director of design and construction for Liberty Mutual, was on site for the event and said the company plans to be a “community within a community,” fitting in with the larger Legacy West neighborhood.
“One of the reasons that we selected Legacy West is that we were looking to put ourselves to attract the right talent and we were looking for a live, work, play community, and really in searching around everywhere, there was nobody that checked the boxes of live, work, and play like Legacy West did,” Murphy told D CEO.
The campus is on schedule for move-in during the fourth quarter of the year. The delivery date is important because the company received an incentive package from the City of Plano contingent on its hiring a certain number of employees to permanent positions by the end of 2017. Over the last two years the company has hired around 1,150 new employees and will continue to hire and look for talent. Currently, Liberty Mutual is occupying a temporary space a short distance from its future home down the Dallas North Tollway.
KDC is the developer on the project, finishing everything but the tenant improvements, which Liberty Mutual will take care of. For KDC, the whole area has come along much quicker than originally thought. After JCPenney decided to sell some of the excess land it owned in the area about three years ago, a partnership was formed between the department store, KDC, Karahan Cos., and Columbus Realty Partners. “We were going to market this for various types of uses that fit with the various partners’ skill sets,” Don Mills, executive vice president with KDC, told D CEO. But Mills said what was expected to be a 10- to 15-year partnership has been only about three and that the land now is effectively all gone.
“It’s a great confluence of uses here at the corner of Main and Main here with Rayburn and Dallas North Tollway,” Mills said. Looking out from the 13th floor of the Liberty Mutual building, you can see nearby campuses for JCPenney, Toyota, FedEx, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., with more multifamily, single-family, and retail in the pipeline. “If you look at the quality of the corporations that have come here and then the retail, and the housing that’s going to be around here, it’s just going to be a great place for anyone to live,” Murphy said. “It doesn’t matter what age you are.”