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Nokia to Move North America Headquarters, Dallas Operations to Cypress Waters After Tax Breaks

Telecom Firm Joins 7-Eleven, Brinker in 1,000-Acre Lakeside Development in Dallas
July 12, 2018
Nokia Corp. plans to to relocate its North American headquarters from Irving, Texas, to the Billingsley Co.'s Cypress Waters master-planned community in Dallas, a move that will bring more than 2,300 employees within the city limits after months of negotiations over tax incentives.

Along with its North American headquarters, the Finnish telecommunications firm intends to consolidate its Dallas-area operations into two buildings currently under construction within The Sound at Cypress Waters. The new regional hub will span 100,000 square feet at 3100 Olympus Blvd. and the entirety of a five-story, 250,000-square-foot building at 3201 Olympus Blvd. slated to deliver at the end of this quarter and early 2019, respectively.

Upon completion, Nokia's North Texas operations will be located along the water's edge of a 362-acre lake, called North Lake, in the 1,000-acre Cypress Waters community.

The location's natural environment, coupled with nearly $5 million of economic incentives from the City of Dallas, helped lure Nokia to the community, which has already landed 7-Eleven Inc. and Brinker International on its corporate roster, said Lucy Billingsley, a partner at Dallas-based Billingsley Co.

"We are pleased they [Nokia] jumped on the bandwagon," Billingsley, a longtime Dallas developer and owner of the 1,000-acre master-planned community, told CoStar News. "These type of moves are about millennials and what kind of job culture will attract them and enhance their productivity. It seems that their values are really quite wonderful values and you hear a lot of conversations around purpose, green environments and life-work balance."

Billingsley said her team is helping create that environment for corporate tenants by centering The Sound at Cypress Waters along the shores of North Lake with a hike-and-bike trail surrounding the 362-acre body of water, a dog park, a splash park for kids and fitness classes.

In Nokia's case, the company will have even more exposure to Cypress Water's natural features because the offices will have balconies overlooking North Lake, Billingsley said.

"We are building places that build comradery and helps people engage indoors and outdoors in different ways. Every major and small corporation is looking to create a work environment that will enhance and enrich their culture. We feel we have a great platform for corporations to do this," added Billingsley.

The consolidation is slated for completion in the third quarter of 2019.

Dave Senior, Nokia's head of workplace resources for the Americas, said the real estate move will consolidate Nokia's Irving and Plano operations into a single location by bringing more than 2,300 employees into one master-planned community.

The nearly $5 million in economic incentives from the City of Dallas played a key role in Nokia's decision to consolidate and relocate its North Texas operations in Cypress Waters.

"Economic incentives are part of the financial landscape for any major corporation," Billingsley told CoStar News. "Nokia would be negligent if they did not give them great weight and analysis. I think the City of Dallas approached it in a thoughtful way by focusing on job creation and bringing new residents to the city."

Billingsley also said District 6 City Councilman Omar Narvaez was instrumental in leading the city council to help secure those economic incentives.

Cushman & Wakefield's Randy Cooper, Craig Wilson, Chad Tsitovich, Scott Goldman and Chris Wood represented Nokia in its real estate search. Marijke Lantz represented Billingsley Co. in the deal.

Lantz, a senior vice president of business pursuits for Billingsley, said the developer plans to break ground on another 250,000-square-foot speculative building this summer, as well as a fifth 250,000-square-foot building along Olympus Boulevard in January 2019.

"With Brinker International, Delta Companies and Nokia moving in the second half of 2019, The Sound at Cypress Waters will be bustling with residents, office tenants, and locals enjoying all the restaurants, events and amenities we have planned on the water," she added.

Billingsley said she still sees large opportunities in the market and is making way for these opportunities with the speculative projects.

"In the next 10 days, we'll be starting our next five-story, 250,000-square-foot building across the street from Nokia's new headquarters site and we are designing two more buildings on Olympus," she said. "It seems every six months, life keeps giving us new projects."

Candace Carlisle, Dallas-Fort Worth Reporter  CoStar Group   
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