FORT WORTH, TX-A 423,992-square-foot vacant plant that once housed Nokia manufacturing operations could be the future home of electronics manufacturer Q-Edge, provided the Fort Worth City Council passes an incentive package for the electronics manufacturer to set up shop here. The council learned about the proposed incentive package during its weekly meeting on March 31, and will vote on the package in two weeks.
But David Berzina, executive vice president, economic development with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce tells GlobeSt.com he doesn’t anticipate a problem with council support. “Every councilperson spoke, including the mayor, and they said there was no reason not to support this,” Berzina says. “I don’t see any reason why this won’t pass.”
Berzina says he and the chamber are already working with Workforce Solutions and the local labor department to organize job fairs and other events to attract potential employees. He says the goal is to hit the ground running as soon as the deal is set and the lease is signed.
Hillwood Properties vice president Tony Crème says a formal lease and move-in date with the Taiwanese manufacturer has yet to be completed, but will be, pending council passage. Q-Edge liked Alliance Gateway 2, which is part of Hillwood’s massive AllianceTexas development, because infrastructure is already set up because of former owner Nokia.
“We developed this as a two-phased build-to-suite for Nokia, and it was their cell-phone manufacturing facility,” Crème tells GlobeSt.com. “They had upwards of 5,000 employees working there at the peak and were manufacturing around three million phones a month.”
Nokia shut down the plant in late 2006 to consolidate operations and Hillwood bought the facility during Q3 2007. The flex building has been vacant since that time.
“We’ve had some interest in this building, but it’s very specialized,” Crème explains. “There is a very narrow market of users out there for this type of building. But the flip side is there is a limited number of buildings that work for that type of user.” With this deal, Q-Edge will take 365,440 square feet, and has the right of first refusal on the remaining space, Crème says.