June 4, 2015
Software provider RealPage Inc. (NASDAQ: RP) plans to move its North Texas headquarters to Richardson — which will bring about 1,400 employees to the Telecom Corridor city — by the end of next year.
The rental housing industry software services firm has leased the four-story, 400,000-square-foot building at 2201 Lakeside Boulevard in Richardson in the Telecom Corridor, with plans to move its corporate headquarters from Carrollton next fall.
“This move was driven more by we needed a different type of building than the one we are in now,” Chairman and CEO Steve Winn told the Dallas Business Journal. “The secondary reason we are moving is we are busting at the seams in the 250,000 square feet we currently lease and we don’t have enough room to expand in this location. We are somewhat landlocked here.”
RealPage — which has 4,000 employees across the globe — has selected its North Texas operations as the company’s sole focus of growth, he told me. Right now, the company has roughly 1,400 employees in Carrollton spread throughout four buildings.
After RealPage moves to Richardson next year, the company plans to add 500 new jobs to meet its operational demand (although the company already has about 100 jobs already listed). RealPage said it plans to hire for jobs ranging from human resources to sales and marketing to software programmers.
“We have grown very significantly over the last few years and we are planning for about 500 additional seats beyond our current employee base because we see a significant opportunity,” Winn told me. “The market we serve has been a market that has been growing significantly and we have grown along with it.”
The industry — the rental housing market — has been growing in nearly every segment, including conventional apartments, affordable housing, military housing and single family rentals, he said. RealPage tracks about 10 million apartment units throughout the United States through its software solutions, he added.
The company and the Richardson Economic Development Partnership are working on an economic incentive agreement, which has yet to be finalized. RealPage’s Winn declined to comment or share the details of the economic incentive package, but called it “compelling.”
The incentives aren’t required for RealPage to realize a 20 percent savings on company facility costs by 2017, said CFO and Treasurer Bryan Hill.
RealPage plans to make its national real estate strategy more efficient by consolidating offices in markets where the company made an entry through acquisition. For example, in San Francisco, RealPage has acquired three or four companies — each with its own real estate — and, while it makes sense to have a San Francisco location, the company wants to streamline its footprint.
“We have many offices around the country, but Dallas is the largest and we have decided to continue to expand at a faster pace rather than other locations in the United States,” Hill said.
The cost of doing business in Dallas-Fort Worth is also relatively cheaper compared with other cities, which also weighed into RealPage’s decision to grow its North Texas operations. The Telecom Corridor seemed like a natural fit for the company to find its employees, he added.
“I wish we could’ve figured it our quicker than we did, but we considered 10 different locations with options including building our own building and a number of existing buildings downtown,” Winn said. “It was not an easy decision.”
Tim Terrell of Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners led the RealPage real estate search and lease negotiations. The building landlord, Chicago-based Gem Realty Capital, is expected to reimburse some of the retrofitting costs of the building to RealPage.
The company has also hired San Francisco-based architect HGA to design the interior of the building for RealPage.
RealPage’s new facility is expected to increase seat capacity for its workers in an open and collaborative environment. The design of the new office is still in the planning process, Winn said.
The company’s new lease begins in September 2016 and expires in 2028, with two, five-year options to renew the agreement. The company plans to reduce the footprint of its inherited locations throughout the United States.
Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker said the city looks forward to welcoming RealPage and its growing employee base to the community and the city will help them continue to “set the pace in the software-as-a-service sector.”
The city and the Richardson Economic Development Partnership worked on the deal for a year, and it was a “huge win for the Telecom Corridor,” Bill Sproull, president and CEO of the partnership told the Dallas Business Journal.
With the move, RealPage becomes one of the top 10 employers for Richardson. Sproull declined to comment on the city’s proposed economic incentive package until the city council votes on it on Monday, June 22.
RealPage will backfill a building on the former Nortel Networks that is currently occupied by State Farm Insurance, which is expected to move out of the building by the end of the year. State Farm Insurance plans to move into its new regional campus, which is currently under construction.
Personally, Sproull said it’s satisfying to see the building return to being used by a tech firm.
“This is important to reinforce Richardson’s Telecom Corridor and have a software company with the credibility like RealPage take the lab space in front of the tower,” he told me. “They are growing to be a dominant force in the real estate IT industry.”