PLANO - It's one of the biggest relocations of a corporate headquarters in American history.
And Thursday marked the grand opening of Toyota's new North America headquarters in Plano, with a slew of events throughout the day.
Gov. Greg Abbott is scheduled to speak at the grand opening ceremony Thursday night.
Media toured the facility Thursday morning, after Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz took questions.
The $1 billion facility includes six buildings, with a focus on sustainability and employee wellness and collaboration.
It includes a state of the art gym, a rock-climbing wall, an in-house doctor's office, a pharmacy, a juice bar and nearly half a dozen Starbuck's locations, among other options.
There's plenty of open space to collaborate, a change from the previous headquarters in California.
By the end of the year, 4,200 permanent employees will work at the facility. So far, just over half have already moved in, with about 250 more arriving each week through December.
Of those employees, 2,800 oare relocating from other states. An additional 1,400 are new hires, including a projected 1,000 from the Dallas area.
Two-hundred positions are still open, mostly in areas like marketing, sales, and engineering.
Lentz said the North Texas headquarters will help streamline production and sales.
"It was important for us to find somewhere that had a better quality of life for our folks, where the homes were more affordable, commute times were better. People could be home with their families for dinner," said Lentz. "There's no question to me that this location in Texas is the premier corporate location in the country."
Parts of the campus are still under construction, which is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
When it is finished, there will be a test track, and room for 6,500 workers, including contractors and vendors.
Toyota is also aiming for a LEED platinum rating. It's four garages can collect 100,000 of rain water each, which can be used to maintain landscaping. It receives 30 percent of its power from solar panels, and the rest is renewable energy.
Toyota is working with the city of Plano and transportation agencies on ironing out any traffic headaches. They are working to stagger employee work schedules, depending on whether they work with customers in different time zones.
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