State Farm

Groundbreaking in Texas key part of State Farm expansion

2013-07-11T09:50:00Z 2013-07-12T07:57:05Z Groundbreaking in Texas key part of State Farm expansionBy Karen Hansen | khansen@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — A Texas developer broke ground Thursday on a $1.5 billion project in Richardson, Texas, that includes 1.5 million square feet for a new State Farm regional facility.

That facility is part of a massive expansion plan by the Bloomington-based insurer to create a trio of hubs in the Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix metro areas — moves that also have fueled speculation about the possible impact on its headquarters in Bloomington.

And while “a few” job functions in Bloomington are under review for relocation, State Farm plans to maintain its overall employment of about 15,000 people here, spokesman Phil Supple said, declining to discuss specific jobs being evaluated. It’s also possible other job functions here could expand, he said.

“Bloomington is our home. We’ve been here 91-plus years,” Supple said. “Our headquarters remains here, and we expect to maintain our very large presence here.”

But in tandem with that, McLean County’s largest employer said it also needs to plan for growth by creating the hubs in cities selected because of their established employee base, growing populations, public transportation and other amenities, and different time zones.

In Richardson, State Farm will lease space in three office towers that are part of a 186-acre project by KDC Real Estate Development & Investments that also includes 1,000 multifamily residential units, a 150-room hotel, a health clinic and fitness facility, and more than 75,000 square feet of retail and restaurants.

By comparison, its Corporate South campus in Bloomington sits on 131 acres.

The development, in a community of about 100,000 residents, is about 13 miles north of Dallas. The company declined to release terms of the lease.

It is slated for occupancy in late 2014.

When it is complete, State Farm will have capacity for up to 8,000 employees in the Dallas metro area; it currently has space for about 2,500. By comparison, the Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest private employer, American Airlines, has 24,700 employees, according to the city of Dallas’ Office of Economic Development.

The Richardson facilities will provide claims, service and sales support — as will the hubs in the Atlanta and Phoenix areas. The company has held job fairs recently — particularly in the Dallas and Phoenix areas — with more scheduled throughout the summer.

“Our move here to Richardson and the creation of a larger multifunctional facility is one of many changes we’re making across the country to better meet the ever-expanding needs of our customers,” said Mary Crego, State Farm senior vice president.

To the west, State Farm also will be an anchor tenant in a similar project — the $600 million multiuse Marina Heights project in Tempe, Ariz., the largest office development deal in Arizona history, according to the city of Tempe.

There it will lease nearly 2 million square feet in five buildings — space about equivalent to the size of Corporate South when it opened in 1996. The more than 20-acre campus, on land owned by Arizona State University, also will include 40,000 to 60,000 square feet of retail space and a 10-acre public lakeside plaza. Occupancy is slated for fall 2015.

State Farm has 2,100 employees in Phoenix. Supple did not have information on potential employee growth there.

In metro Atlanta, the company has 1.2 million square feet of leased space and is evaluating its future needs, Supple said. The area is home to nearly 3,500 State Farm employees — the company’s second-largest concentration, after Bloomington.

In tandem with the developments, there also will be assessments of needs at other locations throughout the country. The company is not sure whether its overall employment, now about 65,000, will be affected.

“We do have some facilities being actively evaluated now,” Supple said, partly because of the planned expansions as well as for other reasons, including efficiencies connected to technology.

For example, the company recently decided it will close a call center with more than 500 employees in West El Paso, Texas, next year and move those duties to the Phoenix and Dallas area hubs.

The expansions come on the heels of a robust 2012 in which the company quadrupled its profits and increased its net worth 7.5 percent, to $65.4 billion, thanks largely to improved underwriting and fewer natural disasters.

“We’re having a 2013 that’s better than 2012, which was one of the best years we’ve had,” Supple said.

Copyright 2015 pantagraph.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(48) Comments

  1. docwnad
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    docwnad - December 03, 2013 6:40 pm
    What are the Fortune 50 companies located in Richardson? Please provide a link. Also, where are you getting your figure that there are "400,000 high paying technical jobs" based in Richardson, Please provide some documentation.
  2. docwnad
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    docwnad - December 03, 2013 5:40 pm
    At this point it is ALL rumor and hearsay that State Farm plans to leave BN and move their headquarters out of state. The latest official word from SFI is that they have no plans to leave Bloomington.

    Those who say SFI corporate headquarters are leaving have absolutely no documentation whatsoever to substantiate their claims.
  3. forreal
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    forreal - November 21, 2013 11:55 am
    State farm will keep a few managment CEOs in BN. But within 5 years all operations will be out of state . Mostly Texas . Sorry . But its true.
  4. DeepThroat100
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    DeepThroat100 - August 27, 2013 6:18 am
    New FB page..State Farm the Good the Bad and the Ugly..check it out
  5. ewing1212
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    ewing1212 - July 19, 2013 3:04 pm
    Writing is on the wall. IL is not business friendly and Obama is doing nothing to save it's jobs.
  6. ewing1212
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    ewing1212 - July 19, 2013 3:03 pm
    State Farm could have chosen to expand it's existing campus or take advantage of building or occuping vast amounts of space in Dallas most desireable neighborhoods. Over 400,000 high paying technical jobs are already based in Richardson even though the city population is closer to 80,000 (NOT 100K). No state income tax, multiple universities and a a local school district that consistantly ranks highest in the nation. And a metro area of over seven million people - highly skilled. It's already a major hub for State Farm with ample room to become the Corporate Headquarters. Just look at the number of Fortune 50 companies in Richardson and neighboring Plano. Writing is on the wall.
  7. Mh0705
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    Mh0705 - July 19, 2013 1:55 pm
    This isn't just about Bloomington. State farm employees all over the country are or have lost their jobs. I am a 30+ year employee whose job moved to TX. My choice was to go to TX or find something within the company. I tried within but younger current employees who weren't in danger of losing their jobs got the open positions. State Farm clearly sent me a message of what they want their future to be and I wasn't included.
  8. 12for10cents
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    12for10cents - July 15, 2013 5:46 am
    Saturn was GM and GM was Saturn - what do GM and SF have in common? Ties to Tata consulting (TCS - the indian national brand) and thousands of rock-bottom cost imported id10ts (most have multiple identities too). Soon SF will suffer same fate as GM, oh wait they did just all hush-hush like. Be assured SF was a recipient of buku bailout TARP bucks, so in essence - SF uses American taxpayer money to hire foreigners. Not going to be sustainable, its already not sustainable.
  9. 12for10cents
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    12for10cents - July 15, 2013 5:35 am
    So SF displacing thousands of Americans in favor of imported scab labor is a good way to keep things 'vibrant'?! Go look at how well these Indians take care of their own country first before welcoming them with open arms. Allowing them in is a huge step backwards, just to start - they don't have a clue what a restroom is for and refuse to learn.
  10. WalterK
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    WalterK - July 13, 2013 10:16 am
    I believe the facilities in this article are owned by SF. The business complex to the SW down Plano Rd are temporarily leased until these buildings are built...at least that's how I read it. Either way it's a lot of space. I think SF is playing the long ball game here. If IL keeps going down the toilet, they want options. Mr. Rust is getting close to retirement age (10 years or so) and when better to make big changes as when there is a major shift in power. Not saying it will happen, but it definitely looks like SF is keeping its options open like any good business should.
  11. tcubbies23
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    tcubbies23 - July 12, 2013 8:12 pm
    I agree with you! SF has maxed out the infrastructure of B/N in needing more schools, public transportation, and homes. I don't think they are like "Saturn" and will just uproot everything and run to the hills. They want to keep B/N vibrant and also help out other communities! I hope they pull it off.
  12. not-so-political
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    not-so-political - July 12, 2013 7:39 pm
    How many were told today that their jobs here would end in 16 to 24 months? was that 600 plus?
  13. Poncho
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    Poncho - July 12, 2013 5:38 pm
    This is not great for Richardson, Texas. 8000 jobs?? Are you crazy?

    We don't need them. Most jobs here are higher paying and higher skilled for this kind of development. Also, it wastes the most valuable rail station in the city for the purpose of one company in a suburban style development.

    What would be better is if they would have been to stuck to the previous zoning which required an urban mix. It would not roll up at 5 pm, and would provide a more diverse property base and a diverse set of people working and living there. They put a parking garage next to the rail station!

    See this view:
    http://www.marksteger.com/2013/07/not-just-accident-its-farmageddon.html
  14. Interested
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    Interested - July 12, 2013 5:02 pm
    Erik, you hit the nail on the head. Unless you grew up around here Central Illinois isn't considered a real desirable place to live. Another big employer up the road is finding this out too.
  15. rnner65
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    rnner65 - July 12, 2013 4:06 pm
    With all the tin foil hats on this board, it's a wonder that more people's hair isn't on fire. This is the craziest stuff I have read all day!!
  16. PS1994
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    PS1994 - July 12, 2013 3:52 pm
    I also get the sense that State Farm is not going to move HQ, but I would suggest that they are done growing here in BN, which could impact to the community in the sense that an economic development opportunity from growth elsewhere did not happen here.

    I happen to think BN is a nice place to live, but it could do a better job in terms of amenities (Uptown Normal is a big improvement). This would require more tax effort and investment among the citizens, but the payoff would be significant. Also, nearly all population growth in the US is occuring in big cities. I wonder if BN will be a better draw when high speed rail is in, and Chicago and St. Louis are only 60-90 minutes away?
  17. Smartone
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    Smartone - July 12, 2013 1:39 pm
    Well now does all those big McMansions look for a need as a home? If jobs leave here, then housing prices go, well we all know which way. As a taxpayer along with everyone else on here, we all know that the state of IL is not business friendly. One doesn't have to be an accountant to understand that this state is in big financial trouble. I hope that the worker force numbers at SF stay the same as current, but hoping for that after reading today's headlines about SF is like believing in Santa Claus, Easter bunny, tooth fairy, etc... I think it is really time to read between the lines here and realize things are changing, and it is highly likely it isn't for the good of the entire community. On a positive note though, the line around the Starbucks coffee in the drive thru may get a little shorter temporarily as people wonder and speculate what is really going on and pinch a few dollars. Any business that can save money on taxes is going to look at another state for doing business, that is capitalism which is what all Republicans and Tea Party supporters want right?
  18. Knowledge 101
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    Knowledge 101 - July 12, 2013 12:18 pm
    certain departments were told they will be closing in 18-24 months and given no gaurentee that there will be a job for them in the Bloomington area. They were told they could apply for their jobs at one of the other sites (out of state) if they would like to keep their job. That does not look like they are keeping the jobs here!!!!!!
  19. Chadwick Snow
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    Chadwick Snow - July 12, 2013 11:34 am
    I highly doubt that. If that were true, it would have leaked at it would be all over the media. Keep fanning the flames.
  20. MacDaddy
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    MacDaddy - July 12, 2013 10:32 am
    Correction, the new facilities are leased, not owned by SF.
  21. MacDaddy
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    MacDaddy - July 12, 2013 9:53 am
    Larry, the numbers will be by attrition. But please note that none of the new facilities are owned by State Farm, therefore the need for hiring maintenance people and other supprt positions is not needed. In 10 years the footprint at State Farm in Bloomington will be smaller than what it is today. The HQ may still be here but when your look at the fact that 3 of the primary hubs could employ up to 24,000 workers and the 4th one in WA could house another 1500, that is pretty substanital, even with the consolidation across the company going on.
  22. Larry Fine
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    Larry Fine - July 12, 2013 9:12 am
    People are stupid. That is the most powerful force in he universe. State Farm IS NOT leaving Bloomington anytime soon. Do some thinking, act like a business owner and use common sense.

    Fact - There is over 6 million sq ft of space here in town. If State Farm moves, they will still be responsible for that space. No intelligent business will abandon quality assets for NO return.

    Fact - Check out the regulatory environment in Texas. Not good for insurance companies. Most companies set up a subsidiary company that solely acts in Texas so that the rest of the country does not have to abide by Texas' draconian regulation. For the simple minded on here, State Farm is an Insurance Company, not an IT shop, not a Call Center operation, AN INSURANCE COMPANY. Insurance companies are regulated differently than other business ventures. You know, by that big bad government we all hate. (Which ironically, happens to be Republican controlled in Texas - sound of TEA partiers heads exploding)

    Fact - The cost to move all operations down to Texas, Arizona or Georgia would be so astronomical, that it would be the worst business decision. No one at State Farm is that STUPID. Unlike the MENSA candidates on these forums.

    As for people who are getting their knickers in a twist about jobs moving - get over it. Companies relocated portions of their workforce all the time. And it is a known fact that to advance (Senior Level Mgmt) in State Farm you have go out to a region/zone/another office/whatever buzz word they are using now for places outside of Bloomington. So people will be moved. Again, please try to think as a BUSINESS not an uninformed rumor monger.

    Lastly, I have NO relationship to State Farm, I just have a clue and a brain that I can use for common sense.
  23. MRK
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    MRK - July 12, 2013 9:12 am
    it aint so Ed
  24. MRK
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    MRK - July 12, 2013 9:12 am
    Oh, the humanity...
  25. Reasonable
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    Reasonable - July 12, 2013 9:03 am
    A lot of externals are going to be removed from the B/N locations. (that is your "job loss") That does not mean they will lose their jobs or have to leave town. They will just have to do their Jobs in non-State Farm locations. (they may even work from home.) The economy and technology fluctuates constantly. In addition building some programs is like any other construction project. Large groups of people are hired for the build. When construction is complete, their job is done. Spreading the impact of this ebb and flow is good for B\N. Remember also, these new spaces are leased, and can be abandoned when tech jobs tighten , or tax environments change.
    We should be happy that Corporate offices plan on maintaining the same level of employees.
    In addition, corporate employees should still tend to be higher paying positions.
  26. WalterK
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    WalterK - July 12, 2013 7:51 am
    @ct - the issue isn't about what the school districts want. It's about a huge, and temporary influx of people into B/N, causing overcrowding and stress on the infrastructure. Yeah, it all looks awesome when there are thousands of people in B/N, but what happens when THEY LEAVE in five years? I suppose you want to pay the taxes for empty Fire Stations...ahem...we already do that sorry... empty schools, roads to nowhere...ahem..sorry... etc. The announcement concerning external companies having to move out of B/N is a very responsible and ethical thing by SF. They could just let the cities eat it, but they aren't. They are being very up front. We know how short sighted politicians are. We have to be sure they don't budget around a false impression of growth in the community and doom the cities even further.
  27. osajia
    Report Abuse
    osajia - July 12, 2013 7:29 am
    You want local SF employees to practice their "speak"? Good advice.

    Comments should not even be allowed on stories like this. It serves no purpose other than to fuel the rumor mill and promulgate unreliable information. Anyone who reads a tidbit of “information” in this comments section and takes it as fact really needs a reality check. There are so many untruths in these only 20 comments (at this time) that it’s pointless to even attempt to address them all.

    Read the story. If you want facts about what's happening, as someone who is impacted, don't listen to the junk posted here.
  28. ct
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    ct - July 12, 2013 6:24 am
    Only the contractors and external indian firms.

    SF does work hard to bring in outsiders, primarily minorities, but it's a tough slug and most that do don't stick around.


    The contractors provide most the talent and skills,
    The locals bring the flavor that keeps SF different from say Geico, etc,
    The foreign externals do the grunt work that SF can't find enough educated locals to do
  29. ct
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    ct - July 12, 2013 6:18 am
    Some locals better start practicing their 'hablo' otherwise there may be no future for them.
  30. ct
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    ct - July 12, 2013 6:17 am
    That is the most silly thing ever about the school.

    School districts want as many residents as possible paying taxes, especially the kind making good money and sitting in high property value homes.


    Both local school districts have agreed to forgo property taxes in order to attract menial extra jobs and business, like the tire plant, or the beverage distributor, etc
  31. exrepub
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    exrepub - July 12, 2013 5:46 am
    I hope it is not the beginning of the end of State Farm. Remember the old Eagles store? They renovated it and then it went out of business. Remember Kays merchandise? They moved it and it went out of business Moving to a different location is not always the solution or making big changes either. If it isn't broken you probably shouldn't mess with it.
  32. exrepub
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    exrepub - July 12, 2013 5:44 am
    Don't a lot of people come here from somewhere else to work for State Farm?
  33. exrepub
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    exrepub - July 12, 2013 5:41 am
    I don't think those people will be working at State Farm.
  34. Erik
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    Erik - July 11, 2013 9:56 pm
    Another factor is the talent pool in Central IL. There are only so many skilled financial and technical workers to draw from, and if someone is not originally from here it is often difficult to get them to move and stay here. By expanding in Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix they diversify the base from which they can draw talent.

    This isn't a sky is falling moment. It appears that the SF employment level will be roughly level in our area. But it's a message to Bloomington-Normal that State Farm will not be the engine for substantial future job growth in the region.
  35. isuisu1
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    isuisu1 - July 11, 2013 9:45 pm
    Unfortunately, I do know it. My two kids, in widely separate departments, were informed today that their jobs will no longer be available in B/N.
  36. Chadwick Snow
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    Chadwick Snow - July 11, 2013 7:28 pm
    Could this simply be a realignment to better fit the geographical footprint of SF? SF is consolidating operations and will continue to do so. There will be less reliance on a "corporate headquarters" and more emphasis on functionality. Could the 15K B/N employees by down a few thousand within the next few years? Absolutely. Will SF pick up and move all of them out? That would be costly and serve no useful purpose.
  37. Chadwick Snow
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    Chadwick Snow - July 11, 2013 7:25 pm
    I really don't think you "know it"
  38. Chadwick Snow
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    Chadwick Snow - July 11, 2013 7:24 pm
    My hair is on fire, my hair is on fire!!!!
  39. IF 6 WAS 9
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    IF 6 WAS 9 - July 11, 2013 7:09 pm
    Yeah but Mexico is much closer there than here.
  40. coal
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    coal - July 11, 2013 6:16 pm
    Cheap labor force south of the border. At least they are staying in the country.
  41. isuisu1
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    isuisu1 - July 11, 2013 4:36 pm
    SF can talk about generalities all they want, and put out fluff pieces like this forever. But, there are 500-1000 jobs leaving B/N within 12 months. I know! It was announced at SF today. Reason given is the need for space and the pressure certain governmental bodies (Unit 5?) have put on them to level out the work force here. So, since SF is bringing in external employees by the hundreds, someone has to leave to make room!
  42. Two Sheds
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    Two Sheds - July 11, 2013 1:17 pm
    Nope, this absolutely will not be the new national headquarters. No chance. We absolutely assure you we will not move to Texas. Ignore the fact that we're packing up all our stuff. We're (snicker) committed to B/N
  43. Oldscribe
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    Oldscribe - July 11, 2013 1:08 pm
    As this develops, it might be wise to remember the discussion a few years ago regarding SF's local tax assessment. It had to do with unoccupied office space. At some point in the next few years, we may see a significant shift in the local tax base. As SF's share contracts, others will have to expand to make up for it. Or higher tax rates for all will result.
  44. CommentCrazy
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    CommentCrazy - July 11, 2013 12:31 pm
    I agree that a number of employees will transfer to jobs in these Hubs (some have already left B/N). Though, most of the people who will work in the Hubs will transfer from other SF offices that are closing across the country, or be hired in the new city.
  45. observer123
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    observer123 - July 11, 2013 12:00 pm
    This is the beginning of the end of Bloomington-Normal as we know it.
  46. otis1949
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    otis1949 - July 11, 2013 11:24 am
    say it aint so Ed
  47. thoughts a million
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    thoughts a million - July 11, 2013 10:37 am
    Quinn and the legislature are not pro-business.....
  48. MacDaddy
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    MacDaddy - July 11, 2013 10:20 am
    Things will be very interesting in about 10 years..... Within 3-5 years all of these new locations plus another one, will be fully operational. I hope IL gov't takes this into account, because SF, Caterpillar, ADM and other large corporations (Deere as well) are looking outside of IL.
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