Industrial giant Caterpillar picks North Texas for division move, hundreds of jobs

Written by Desmond

April 30, 2021

One of the world’s largest industrial companies is relocating a major division to Irving that will bring hundreds of jobs.

Caterpillar Inc. — the international manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, engines, generators and locomotives — is consolidating workers from its Electric Power Division in Las Colinas.

Caterpillar is taking “multiple floors” in the landmark Williams Square high-rise complex on O’Connor Boulevard near Carpenter Freeway.

The company plans to shift functions and hundreds of jobs now in California, Arizona and Indiana to the new location in North Texas.

Jason E. Kaiser — now based in Lafayette, Ind., and vice president of Caterpillar’s Electric Power Division — will head the new Texas office.

“We are excited to consolidate the Electric Power leadership and support teams together in Irving, Texas,” Kaiser said in a statement. “Our new office in Williams Square will play an integral role in supporting Caterpillar’s long-term strategic goal to remain a leader in our industry.

“This location is home to a highly skilled workforce and provides global access to our customers and dealers with centralized proximity to D-FW and Love Field airports.”

The Caterpillar division manufactures and sells products including generators, switching gear and other equipment to industrial, utility and business clients.

The division has previously had major offices in locations including San Diego, Tucson and Lafayette, Ind.

The company isn’t giving details about the size of the Irving workforce or exactly where the jobs are.

“The capacity of the office will be determined by business needs for the groups based there,” Caterpillar’s Sara Weitz said in an email. “While members of the Electric Power team are located globally, leadership has previously been based in locations such as Houston, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia.

“Employees will locate in the D-FW office from several Caterpillar locations and we also expect to hire some employees locally.”

Caterpillar is the first big-name business tent to make a move to the iconic Williams Square property since the owners launched a multimillion-dollar makeover of the property.

The four-building development was constructed in the 1980s and has more than 1.4 million square feet of offices. The buildings are owned by Apollo Global Real Estate of New York and Vanderbilt Partners of Chicago.

The city of Irving is also beginning an $8 million redo of the public plaza Williams Square with its popular Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture. The project will add more public gathering space with lawns, trees, landscaping and seating areas.

Caterpillar plans to move into the Las Colinas location early next year, said Bill Brokaw, senior vice president of Hillwood Urban, which operates and leases the properties.

Brokaw said the redevelopment of Las Colinas’ centerpiece corporate campus helped land the Caterpillar deal, which has been in the works since 2019.

A big part of it was the amenities and the investment that is being put in with the new mustang plaza and the location,” Brokaw said. “This is really a win for the Metroplex and Irving.”

Caterpillar is still working out the details and size of the office, which is being designed by Dallas architect Corgan. All Brokaw would say is that “it’s more than a couple of floors.”

The office space Caterpillar is taking previously housed operations for Pioneer Natural Resources, which moved to a new headquarters campus in Las Colinas last year.

Williams Square includes a 26-story central tower, two 14-story towers and an adjacent five-story office building.

Brokaw said the office buildings are currently about 65% leased.

“We are thrilled to welcome Caterpillar to Irving-Las Colinas and look forward to developing a strong relationship that spurs job creation and community investment while providing the Caterpillar team with all that our vibrant community has to offer,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said in a statement. “Our diverse economy, access to talent and excellent quality of life will benefit the team moving to the region.”

Brokaw and Karch Schreiner of Hillwood negotiated the Caterpillar lease with Ned Franke and Matt Heidelbaugh of Cushman & Wakefield.

With more than $41 billion in annual revenues, Caterpillar is one of the world’s largest industrial companies. Founded in 1925, the firm has more than 97,000 global employees.

In 2017, Caterpillar moved its longtime headquarters from Peoria, Ill., to a new location in suburban Chicago near O’Hare International Airport.

With more than 60% of its business outside the United States, the company said it needed to be close to an international air hub.

It’s not a headquarters move, but Brokaw said Caterpillar’s commitment to Las Colinas is another sign of North Texas’ appeal to business.

“This is another signal to the country that D-FW is a hub for companies to relocate,” Brokaw said. “This is a high-quality, great name tenant and we couldn’t be more excited about them choosing Williams Square.

“We know there are a lot more people looking at the region.”

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