Charles Schwab leasing in Westlake, may increase area presence

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Financial services firm Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. has signed a five-year lease in Westlake, with some development officials saying the San Francisco company may build a new campus nearby employing many more.

“I can confirm that we have signed a five-year lease for 130,000 square feet of office space in Westlake,” a company spokeswoman said in an email. The address is 2050 Roanoke Road and that site has the capacity to house up to 500 employees.

The discount brokerage and financial adviser currently has about 15,400 employees overall and has said it plans to move some employees to more economical locations. In 2014, it opened a new location outside Denver that is expected to employ about 3,000 and it has over 4,000 at a site in Phoenix. The company has said it wants to reduce headcount in the San Francisco area and has had a rumored interest in the Fort Worth area for several years.

The leased space abuts the planned Hillwood Properties and Howard Hughes Corp. development Circle T, that is expected to be a five-phase, 128 acre mixed-use development consisting of offices, apartments, retail and a hotel. Hillwood presented the plans to Westlake’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 9. The commission is expected to vote on the zoning changes required for the project at its Dec. 1 meeting.

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Hillwood is asking for approvals to build a corporate office campus with more than 2 million square feet of space in several buildings, 750 apartments, a 200-room hotel, a 350,000 square foot mid-rise office and 80,000 square feet featuring retail and entertainment, including a movie theater. The first phase of the project would include a 286,000-square-foot office project, the hotel, retail space and 250 residential units. Hillwood officials have not officially commented on the project.

Called the Circle T project after the ranch that was located at the intersection of Highway 377 and State Highway 114, Hillwood is partnering with Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp. on the development. Howard Hughes Corp. was also involved in developing The Woodlands near Houston, Summerlin in Las Vegas, the Seaport District in Lower Manhattan and Ward Village in Honolulu. Hillwood acquired the Circle T property in 1993.

Renderings and photos from the site indicate they plan an urban village concept along with native grasses, green space and a prairie landscape.

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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