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The doors to Liberty Mutual Insurance's new $325 million regional hub in Plano's Legacy West opened Wednesday, delivering nearly 1 million square feet of space specifically engineered to connect thousands more employees in the next few years.By mid-January, Boston-based Liberty Mutual plans to begin moving the insurance company's existing North Texas employee base, which now totals about 2,700 workers, into the campus. The phased move is scheduled through the middle of 2018, bringing employees from Irving, Richardson, Frisco and along the Dallas North Tollway in one campus.In the next few years, the insurance company plans to add to its growing workforce, with the new Plano regional campus designed to seat up to 5,000 workers."As opposed to having a lot of small offices around the country, we wanted to create a place where people can actually have a community with places for promotion and for people to move around," said CEO David Long, who helped open the regional campus in an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere.Liberty Mutual decided to develop its third major campus in Plano after looking at potential sites in more than 900 cities throughout the United States, Long said."The tax and regulation environment is just really business conducive, but, ultimately, it came down to Plano having a well-educated workforce and a community that fit our values," he added. "Plano was the place."Construction began on the regional campus more than two years ago. Officials said the Plano hub was delivered on time and on budget, which totaled $325 million.
During Wednesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, Long gave the city of Plano funding for a new universally-accessible playground on a two-acre tract in Windhaven Meadows Park. The park will be named Liberty Park and is being modeled after a similar park funded by Liberty Mutual in Boston.The 20,000-square-foot park is designed to have dozens of pieces of play equipment, synthetic turf, 1,800 square feet of water play features and more than 50 shade trees."Our economy is truly the envy of the nation because of companies like Liberty Mutual that are investing big in Texas," Abbott said, adding the city of Plano has seemingly become the economic development center of Texas.In the last few years, Plano has added Toyota North America to its corporate community, with JP Morgan Chase, FedEx Office and NTT Data adding to the city's business ranks. In turn, the city has given millions in economic incentives.The city was thrilled to add another Fortune 100 company to its ranks, as well as another 5,000 new jobs, said LaRosiliere, who added Liberty Mutual's decision to put a major employment hub in Plano was no accident."We've made an intentional decision to be the economic center of North Texas," he said. "There's still opportunities to bring other companies here whether it's new development or redevelopment."The new regional campus includes amenities, such as an on-site medical center with a physical therapy services area, a full-service cafeteria, gourmet coffee bar, two large conference centers, two rooftop gardens and a 4,500-space parking garage.Dallas-based Omniplan, in partnership with Dallas-based lauck group, designed the campus. Balfour Beatty Construction was the general contractor. Dallas-based KDC was the developer.Liberty Mutual is seeking to meet LEED Gold requirements and the campus will be the company's eighth LEED-certified building. The insurance company owns an adjacent four-acre tract in Legacy West that is earmarked for future expansion.