Connection Point: HQ1 Relocations Highlight Work of DRC Economic Development Team

Mike Rosa, Senior Vice President, Economic Development

Mike Rosa

You’ll win a bet if you wager someone can’t name the largest Fortune 500 company to make a headquarters location announcement in 2018. Most people won’t recognize McKesson, moving from San Francisco to Irving in 2019, as a Fortune 6 company, ranked even higher than Amazon (eighth). Paired with Core-Mark, another Fortune 500 company that quietly announced a headquarters move for 2019 to Westlake from South San Francisco, they bring DFW’s Fortune 500 headquarters total to 24. Two Fortune 500 location announcements in one year is fantastic; they join Jacobs, Fluor, Comerica and AT&T as Fortune 500 companies to move here in recent years, and Toyota, Boeing Global Services, NTT Data, Hilti, Copart, Smoothie King, and many other headquarters that have also moved to the Dallas Region.

Including McKesson, DFW is home for three of the 10 largest U.S. companies; Exxon, McKesson, and AT&T. No other metro area in the U.S. has more than one. There’s another good business trivia question. Irving, home to both Exxon and McKesson, has more Fortune 10 headquarters than any other city in the U.S.

In 2016, McKesson considered multiple metro areas in the U.S. for a major corporate office consolidation and selected Irving. It was a great win for Irving, and the State of Texas supported McKesson’s growth with a Texas Enterprise Fund award. The headquarters remained in San Francisco then, but winning that consolidation set the stage for the headquarters to follow. The Dallas Regional Chamber’s initial touch with McKesson was in 2015 on a California marketing trip; we learned the company was evaluating its U.S. footprint and we’d have an opportunity to recruit a larger presence here.

We know we’re a top spot for HQ1s, but we’re also winning major, second campuses for companies currently based elsewhere, even if decisions by Amazon and Apple did not include our region. From reports and our direct communication with Amazon, including the second visit to Dallas in August, we know DFW made a deep run. Apple announced a year ago it would expand at existing campuses (such as Austin) and also would select a third market outside of Texas or California for a major new campus.

The Charles Schwab campus under construction in Westlake is a big win, and near it is Fidelity Investments’ major campus. Capital One in Plano, Microsoft in Irving, and State Farm in Richardson are other great examples of companies locating and growing here in a big way.

DFW is ideally suited for either headquarters or major offices. This region has the largest critical mass of talent, corporate activity, and support services in the U.S. that’s located in a business-friendly state. Our cost of doing business and cost of living profile gives a company confidence it can find, bring, and attract large numbers of employees here. For a corporate headquarters, we add our enviable advantage of incredible air service combined with a central U.S. and time zone location.

There’s more to come. As we roll into 2019, the DRC’s list of active projects includes companies, among them tech companies, seeking a new headquarters or a major campus location. We plan to increase by 50 percent our marketing trips and corporate calls in 2019, to leverage our success and take advantage of the moment.