GM Financial celebrates new Arlington facility, promises more jobs

General Motors Financial Co. Inc. has completed a $35 million addition to its South Arlington campus while foreseeing job growth in the coming year.

“I think there’s room for growth in this facility. I think you can expect a handful of additions [employees], not massive growth, in the coming year,” said Chris Burt, executive vice president-chief human resources officer of GM Financial, minutes before the Fort Worth-based auto lender cut the ribbon on the 240,000-square-foot building at 3801 S. Collins St.

The Nov. 29 ribbon-cutting came six years after the firm, formerly known as AmeriCredit, acquired the facility, formerly a JPMorgan Chase call center. It is one of four buildings the company occupies on more than 80 acres of land in south Arlington. About 3,430 employees work in the facilities, not including 716 at its Fort Worth headquarters.

The firm expects modest growth in the coming year, though Burt did not specify numbers of new employees expected to be hired. “It’s overall growth, not one particular area in our business,” Burt said.

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The company, a subsidiary of General Motors Co., employs 4,597 statewide, with 75 percent based in Arlington. About one third of its Arlington workforce lives in the city, Burt said, with the balance living in surrounding communities.

“Our preference is to pull from this market when we can,” said Burt, whose firm also recruits from The University of Texas at Arlington, among other area schools. In fact, its internship with UNT was tripled, and most of its 50 interns come from the Arlington university.

About 1,300 employees will be based in the newly opened facility and will work in marketing, loan services, human resources and customer service. The firm considered several locations before choosing the Arlington property.

“I had looked at CentrePort,” said Michael Duskin, senior vice president of corporate administration, referring to CentrePort Business Park near Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

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“But this Arlington location made sense. It allowed the opportunity for some expansion,” Duskin said.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams lauded the expansion, comparing its impact to DR Horton’s decision to move its headquarters to town, as well as growth in the city’s entertainment district and General Motors’ $1.4 billion investment in its Assembly Plant.

“And perhaps even more importantly, all of these moves are bringing quality, high-paying jobs to our city. With a track record like that, it is clear dreams are getting done in Arlington,” Williams said.

A state representative agreed.

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“What it means is here in Texas, we maintain a very friendly business climate, and we don’t punish you for being successful,” said state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. “We’re certainly glad they chose Arlington,” Birdwell said.

Completion of the newest south Arlington building comes as the firm reports robust business. Retail loan originations reached $5.1 billion in third quarter 2016 compared to $4.7 billion in the same period last year. Meanwhile, total assets have grown from $65.9 billion in fourth quarter 2015 to $82 billion in the same period this year.

Though most GM Financial employees are based in North Texas, a handful work in Sugar Land near Houston and in San Antonio. Employment at the latter location likely will rise when a new servicing center greets San Antonio in 2017.

“This is sort of the model for that,” Burt said of the Arlington building. “It’s not just adding people; we’re growing intentionally.”