TX: KONE to Invest $26M, Add 80 Jobs & Light Mfg in Allen

17 Sep, 2014

KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, will build and occupy a light-manufacturing facility in AllenPlace and will add 80 new positions to the facility, the company and Allen Economic Development Corporation announced. KONE will expand its current competence by adding a light manufacturing facility to its operations in North America. In May, KONE announced it would be the lead tenant for the $26 million first phase of AllenPlace, and since, has committed to another 121,852 square feet for a light-manufacturing facility in the office park.

KONE now has plans to occupy nearly a quarter of the master-planned, 22.5-acre, 700,000 square-foot, five-building Class A office park being developed by Houston-based Sentinel Capital, LLC, in partnership with Centra Partners, LLC and Triad Real Estate. Including light manufacturing and test facilities and office space, KONE will lease more than 169,000 square feet at AllenPlace, east of North Central Expressway between West Bethany and West McDermott Drives. The Allen Economic Development Corporation has worked in partnership with Sentinel on the project, assisting with both the real estate transaction and KONE’s expansion.

KONE expects Sentinel Capital to break ground in the next few months and KONE will have most of the positions in place by the end of next year, according to Ron Bagwill, vice president of Supply Operations for KONE Americas. Bagwill said some employees will relocate from a facility that has been operating in Torreon, Mexico, while other positions will be new. He said growth and proximity to U.S. and Canadian suppliers and customers were the key factors contributing to the decision to centralize sourcing, engineering and testing in Allen. The company said it will maintain its operations in Torreon, Mexico, with particular focus on manufacturing the core components of its elevator products, the elevator cars and doors.

“We will be customizing the elevator controls closer to where they are installed in the U.S. and Canada,” he said. “Our centralized location in Allen will simplify logistics, enhance quality and speed delivery.”

“KONE’s commitment to Allen and AllenPlace firmly anchors our vision for this office park, and they will serve as an important physical and symbolic landmark for what Allen means to corporate business,” said Dan Bowman, Allen Economic Development Corporation Executive Director and CEO.

While construction is underway, KONE continues to occupy office space in Allen Central Park and a testing facility in nearby McKinney. KONE is expected to take occupancy in the first half of 2015, according to Greg Nelson of Sentinel Capital. The AllenPlace complex is being designed by the architecture firm Goulas + Associates, Inc.

Ben Appleby represented Sentinel Capital on the KONE transaction and now handles all leasing for AllenPlace. Jeff Patman, Senior Vice President with Site Selection Group, handled all economic incentive and lease negotiations for KONE.

“This public-private collaboration should speak volumes about our intent and commitment to be a corporate home for growing and developing businesses,” said Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell.

About Kone

KONE is one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry. KONE's objective is to offer the best People Flow® experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting in buildings in an increasingly urbanizing environment. KONE provides industry-leading elevators, escalators, automatic building doors and integrated solutions to enhance the People Flow in and between buildings. KONE's services cover the entire lifetime of a building, from the design phase to maintenance, repairs and modernization solutions. In 2013, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 6.9 billion and at the end of the year over 43,000 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd in Finland.

About Sentinel Capital, LLC

Houston-based Sentinel Capital, LLC, is owned by Dusty Wolf COO of Centra Partners and Greg Nelson of Triad Real Estate Consulting Group. Centra, one of only 700 Accredited Management Organizations in the United States, manages over 7,700 apartment units, approximately 1.5 million square feet of commercial office, 500,000 square feet of industrial and 200,000 square feet of retail. Its services include management operations, leasing, accounting, construction services, investment brokerage and asset management. Triad has provided consulting underwriting analysis on over $1 billion of commercial investment during the past 10 years. Triad’s services include brokerage and investment analysis, acquisitions, developing client specific investment plans, marketing strategies for commercial assets, and site selection.

About Allen Economic Development Corporation

In 1992, the citizens of Allen passed a citywide half-cent sales tax in support of an economic development corporation. Since its inception, the Allen Economic Development Corporation has been charged with facilitating company relocations and assisting the expansion of existing businesses, which creates jobs and additional tax revenue to the community. Since 1992, the AEDC has recruited over 95 new businesses and industries to Allen that have contributed to increasing Allen's total ad valorem tax base from $729 million in 1992 to over $8.5 billion in 2013. The AEDC Board of Directors, appointed by the Allen City Council, governs the corporation's operations. These individuals represent a diverse spectrum of interests and expertise, which is invaluable to making prudent decisions with regard to the quality of Allen's economic development.