McCarthy Nordburg announced the completion of OnTrac’s new 55,000 SF call center and headquarters located in the Continuum project at 2501 S. Price Road in Chandler on Friday. The company has grown rapidly and the design addressed the tenant’s desire for a space that reflects its company culture and brand. Allen Arrington and David Hobart were the design team from McCarthy Nordburg. Stevens Leinweber was the general contractor and Facilitec provided the interior furnishings.
Direct Energy today officially opened its Phoenix area call center in Tempe symbolizing the company’s dedication to grow long-term in the Phoenix community. As part of the grand opening festivities, Direct Energy announced that the company and its employees would commit to volunteering a minimum of 2,000 hours over the next year among several different area non-profit organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the St. Mary’s Food Bank.
“Direct Energy takes community investment and corporate social responsibility very seriously,” said Scott Boose, president, Direct Energy Services. “We are committed to making a difference in our customer’s lives and positive impacts in areas like Phoenix where we are part of the community employing hundreds of people with plans to grow even more.”
The community involvement initiative announcement was made at a press conference at Direct Energy’s new call center. During the press conference, Direct Energy also discussed its optimism that Arizona will open to retail electric competition, an industry where Direct Energy is the largest in North America. Recently, Direct Energy submitted a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CC&N) to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to serve retail electric customers in the state. The ultimate goal is to allow more consumers, specifically residential and small businesses, in Arizona to reap the full benefits of a competitive retail market structure, which may include cost savings.
“Across the United States in competitive retail electric markets, Direct Energy has offered choice and innovative time-of-use products to consumers that will save them money,” said Steven Murray, president, Direct Energy Residential. “Arizona should be no different and we look forward to working with the Arizona Corporation Commission Commissioners and other parties to continue the forward progress the state is making toward competition.”
Direct Energy employs more than 200 people in the Phoenix area with current plans to grow to as many as 500. The company’s call center in Tempe serves customers in both Direct Energy Services for their plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and electricians needs, and Direct Energy Residential for our retail electric customers.
“We are so pleased to celebrate this day with Direct Energy and its employees,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Tempe is excited about adding 500 new jobs to our community, and we are appreciative of the volunteerism of the Direct Energy employees. That is a genuine and generous sign that they are here to stay.”
“Our new call center is a symbol of the important position Tempe and the Phoenix area has toward growing our customer base and business in North America,” said Matt George, Direct Energy’s call center director and senior executive in the Phoenix area. “I look forward to showing the community our new workplace and enhancing our visibility and influence here.”
QBE FIRST, part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, signed an 11-year lease on a new operations center at 2700 Frye Rd. in Chandler.
The 183,000 SF facility will house a significant QBE FIRST call center and is expected to accommodate more than 1,000 associates.
“This facility offers us the ability to grow, not only in the number of people we employ but also our infrastructure and information technology capabilities,” said Steve Lindstrom, regional operations executive for QBE FIRST.
QBE FIRST, through a business it and its affiliates acquired from the Balboa Insurance Company in mid-2011, has been a long-standing employer in the City of Chandler.
“As one of the largest employers in Chandler, QBE FIRST is pleased to remain a partner in the community and we look forward to continued growth in the future,” said QBE FIRST Chief Executive Officer CD Davies. “This facility will serve as a showcase for visiting clients and become a major servicing center for our customers.”
“It is great to have QBE expanding into the Chandler business community,” Mayor Jay Tibshraeny said. “This announcement shows the confidence they have in Chandler. We look forward to continuing this partnership and appreciate their recognition of a talented regional workforce to help them grow. A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen and we welcome QBE’s continued expansion in the Price Corridor.”
“GPEC places a significant emphasis on attracting investment from internationally-based firms as a prime source of growth and employment in the region, so we are pleased to welcome Australia-based QBE to Chandler,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Together with partners like the Arizona Commerce Authority, we will continue to work toward creating quality job growth in Greater Phoenix.”
QBE FIRST plans to begin moving into the new facility sometime during the fourth quarter of 2012. Regent Properties is the owner/developer of the property.
The lease was arranged by Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of QBE and Bill Blake, Principal with Lee & Associates on behalf of Regent. “We’re grateful to the City of Chandler and the pro-business attitude of city leaders for making this project possible,” Lindstrom said. “And because the building is located next to the Chandler Fashion Center, it will also add revenue to the food and retail shops nearby. All in all, this facility is a win-win for QBE FIRST and the City of Chandler.
“This decision demonstrates Arizona’s competitiveness and the optimal operating environment Governor Jan Brewer, the legislature and business community have been building in order for employers like QBE FIRST to continue to operate here and grow,” said Sandra Watson, Executive Vice President and COO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “The ACA is pleased to see QBE FIRST grow in Chandler while maintaining good jobs and creating more opportunities for Arizona workers as it expands.”
For more information on QBE First, visit their website at www.qbefirst.com.
Discount Cab, subsidiary of Total Transit, has today opened a new, state-of-the-art facility next to its Glendale headquarters to be used exclusively for Discount Cab operations. A ribbon cutting, held in conjunction with members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, officially opened the center. Among the center’s features are a new internet lounge and facilities for improved driver check-in and check-out. The second story of the facility is now home to the new Discount Cab call center, one of the largest taxicab call centers in the nation with 24/7 and multilingual support.
Discount Cab anticipates a ten percent increase in need over the next year for drivers, so company recruiters were on-site during the grand opening to meet with those seeking a new career as a driver. A raffle and lease specials were held for existing drivers during the grand opening, and social media contests will be held all week to celebrate the opening of the new center.
Reflecting the company’s mantra of being “Safe, Clean & Green,” Discount Cab featured a green carpet at the opening event, which, along with vintage vehicles, provided for excellent photo opportunities. A live DJ set the tone for a fun day of food, a screening of the film Taxi, networking, guided tours of the facility and more.
“I’m very proud to open this new Driver Center next door to our corporate headquarters,” stated Total Transit CEO Craig Hughes. “The new center shows our employees and independent contractor drivers that we care about their success. It is also a symbol of all that we’ve accomplished together and anticipates our continuing growth.”
For more information on Discount Cab and their services, please visit www.DiscountCab.com. Find @Discount_Cab on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DiscountCab.
CBRE completed a 30,500 SF lease with LivingSocial at a four-story, Class A office building located at 250 S. Williams Circle in Tucson.
LivingSocial, an online discount promoter for local products and services, plans to open a new call center in Tucson in July.
David A. Volk, SIOR, and Bruce A. Suppes of CBRE’s Tucson office represented the landlord, Kent Circle Investments LLC, in negotiating the five-year lease agreement. LivingSocial, based in Washington D.C., was represented by Steve Burman and Jay Farmer of Jones Lang LaSalle, also in Washington D.C., and Andrew Medley in the firm’s Phoenix office. The exact financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“This building is among the most modern in Tucson and was specifically designed with technology-intensive users in mind,” said CBRE’s Volk.
LivingSocial will occupy the building’s entire top floor, bringing its occupancy to 100 percent. In addition to the new Tucson location, LivingSocial also has large offices in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Kent Circle Investments LLC is controlled by Seldin Real Estate Inc. of Scottsdale. The company also owns the high-rise office building at 5151 E. Broadway in Tucson.