American Airlines is asking the Fort Worth City Council to approve an incentive package for the airline’s new corporate headquarters, a $350 million project to be built on the southwest corner of Highway 183 and Highway 360.
The Council heard a briefing on the project at its Pre-Council meeting Tuesday and will vote to approve the package on Nov. 10.
“The history of transportation has grown,” District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan said. “DFW and American Airlines are such a critical part of the success of North Texas.”
The incentive package includes a one-year tax abatement and a 14-year economic development program grant. Both total to about $21.25 million.
American Airlines can receive the incentives under some conditions. The airline needs to invest a minimum of $200 million on the construction project by the end of 2019. American Airlines will also need to spend $50 million on Fort Worth businesses and $25 million on businesses owned by women and minorities. The airline must retain a minimum of 4,279 full-time employees, and at least 400 of those employees must be Fort Worth residents.
In addition to the incentive package, the airline is asking for its existing facilities to be nominated for the Texas Enterprise Zone Program, a state program that offers tax refunds for development projects in areas that are struggling economically. The program does not fiscally affect the city, but the city is responsible for submitting nominations to the state.
If approved by the state, American Airlines can receive up to $3.75 million in tax refunds.
American Airlines plans build its new corporate headquarters where Sabre’s headquarters used to be. The building, now vacant, will eventually be demolished to make way for the airline’s new headquarters. The approximately 287-acre property will be used for offices and training facilities that are slated to open in 2018.
Several city councilmembers expressed support of the project, including District 5 Councilwoman Gyna Bivens, whose district will house the new facility.
“This is big,” she said.