ALLEN, Texas— WatchGuard Video, the world’s largest manufacturer of law enforcement video systems, recently announced that they will be building their new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters in Allen, Texas.
The build-to-suit project will be completed in two phases for a total of 200,000 square-feet of first-class office space and a corporate investment of approximately $46 million, accommodating upwards of 700 employees at full capacity.
“WatchGuard is experiencing hyper-growth thanks to increasing demand for our equipment such as body cameras and in-car recording systems for law enforcement,” Coffman says. “The City of Allen was a natural choice for the new facility given its upscale amenities and the proactive efforts of the Allen Economic Development Corporation.”
A great place to bring people
WatchGuard’s new corporate headquarters will be located on 12 acres at the intersection of Exchange and Andrews parkways near Cabela’s and Topgolf, just east of Central Expressway in Allen. Convenient access to DFW International Airport as well as Allen’s hotel, conference, dining and entertainment options make it an ideal location, according to the company.
WatchGuard routinely brings in large training classes of command staff for law enforcement from other cities, necessitating a facility with strong curb appeal and a welcoming city environment.
The first phase of the new two-story 140,000-square-foot office facility is expected to cost $36 million and will open at the end of 2017. The company’s second phase adds another 60,000-square-feet of space and is expected to require an additional $10 million investment and be completed around 2022.
“Phase one will get us into the near future, but phase two isn’t far behind,” Coffman explains. “We’re planning a high-end building that serves as a great draw for customers and others in the industry, but really focuses on serving our employees.”
The company expects to move approximately 280 to 300 employees into the new office, with a total capacity of around 500 employees before further expansion is necessary. These jobs are in the areas of research & development, engineering, technology, sales and production.
“The new WatchGuard facility is an excellent example of the significant growth we’ve seen in our office sector,” said Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell. “Demand is being driven by Allen’s highly educated workforce, world-class shopping and dining, and family-oriented lifestyle.”
Choosing Allen twice
WatchGuard moved from Plano to their current location on Century Parkway in Allen in 2010 and is currently operating ‘beyond capacity’ until their new headquarters is completed. They began looking for a new location for their corporate headquarters in 2015.
“Allen was the incumbent and at the top of the list for a number of reasons, but we did look at surrounding cities,” Coffman says. “Plano, Frisco and McKinney are all compelling places—and North Texas is a great place in general.”
But after considering various options, they found the perfect location in Allen.
“This is definitely the place for a higher-end office investment,” Coffman explains. “Aside from the employment and business side of things, we’ve got a huge investment in the building. Allen is a place that you can easily see increasing that value because of how well the community has been planned.”
The facility will include modern features such as: open group areas for collaborating, training rooms, a large outdoor recreation space, an indoor racquetball court, a gym, a health clinic and a ‘customer experience room’ that allows demonstrations of the company’s products thru multimedia and immersive technologies.
WatchGuard began working with the Allen Economic Development Corporation at the start of their search. “They helped in some ways to focus our expectations, proposing various sites and then really paving the way to get this done,” Coffman says. “With a project of this size, a lot of different people are involved, and the AEDC has done a fantastic job of pulling all the various parties together.”