Deloitte’s Westlake campus will not be available for public education – at least not in its early days.
“It’s something we will consider,” said Stephen Silverstein, director of real estate and workplace strategies with the New York-based accounting and consulting firm.
Speaking at the March 2 Northwest Metroport Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Silverstein described the $300-million training facility and corporate campus under construction on 107 acres bounded by Dove, Ottinger and Precinct Line roads and State Highway 114.
When complete in mid-2011, the resource dubbed “Deloitte University” will educate, entertain and likely inspire the thousands of visitors expected to walk through the mammoth facility.
“We really landed a great piece of property,” said Silverstein. Deloitte employs 45,000 and operates 102 U.S. offices in 92 cities with nearly $11 billion in total U.S. annual revenues. After considering multiple sites as its next significant location, Silverstein said several factors made Westlake the obvious choice: airport access, an attractive physical location, surrounding amenities and climate. “We’ll scratch this year,” said Silverstein, drawing laughter from the capacity crowd.
Thousands of visitors are expected to train on the sprawling campus, broadening their skills while enlivening the local economy. Area restaurants, sports arenas and other recreational locations are expected to benefit from their business.
Deloitte employees are expected to give back, as well, donating one day a year to community volunteerism.
“We buy the paint, we buy the paintbrushes, we teach in schools,” said Silverstein, touching on only a few ways in which he said Deloitte employees provide volunteer time in their respective communities.
“When you see the faces of those you impact, that’s what makes it worthwhile.”
Pressed to specify an opening date for the Westlake campus, the executive said “mid-2011. That’s all you’ll get out of me.”
An unusually snowy winter has pushed back the construction schedule by a few weeks, said Silverstein, vowing that workers will catch up.
Though sizable, the campus conforms to Westlake’s rural flavor and hilly terrain. Silverstein assured folks that the community’s next major corporate tenant will not disrupt its way of life.
“We’ve built the project into the property,” said Silverstein, estimating that construction has cost only about six trees. Primary access to the property will be via a private road extending from Westlake Parkway, minimizing the traffic impact on Dove and Ottinger roads. As for the facility itself, Silverstein touted its aesthetic qualities in a PowerPoint presentation.
“It’s very Texas, low country, very ranch,” Silverstein said of facilities that incorporate natural light and open space. In addition to several cyber cafes, a restaurant and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom will be an 800-room company hotel.