ALLEN, Texas – Feb. 13, 2020 – Highlands Residential Mortgage will become the first tenant at One Bethany West at Watters Creek, the Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) announced today. The mortgage company is continuing the trend of corporate migration to Dallas’ suburbs, and signed a 10-year lease on 25,735 square feet at the new facility, slated for completion in July 2020. Highlands adds to a growing number of financial and fintech firms that have yielded strong economic growth for both the City of Allen and surrounding Collin County.
“As we searched for the right long-term location, it was very important that we find a great community for our dynamic team of employees,” said Brian W. Bennett, president of Highlands Residential Mortgage, which will open its new Allen headquarters this November. “We strongly believe that the One Bethany West building, with its amenities and proximity to the Watters Creek shops, dining and convention center, will make for an outstanding home as we continue our nationwide expansion efforts.”
The announcement brings another reputable name to a region that has become one of the nation’s leading financial centers. Overall, Allen has seen a 36 percent increase in financial services jobs over the past three years. The city’s expanding cluster of related firms includes Experian and Forte Payment Systems, among others.
“The financial services sector is clearly growing in Allen,” said Dan Bowman, executive director of the AEDC. “This trend is expected to continue as we see companies like Highlands Mortgage and Credit Union of Texas, the lead tenant at One Bethany East, moving here.”
The city also houses an increasing number of businesses blending finance and technology – offering innovative solutions to some of the nation’s leading financial firms.
Allen’s fintech presence includes businesses such as Jack Henry & Associates and GIACT. Jack Henry, an S&P 400 company, develops data processing systems for the automation of banking and accounting practices. GIACT, headquartered in Allen, provides fraud detection, verification and compliance services to over 1,000 companies nationwide.
The encouraging growth trend for finance and fintech is equally strong in the surrounding Collin County. As one of the fastest growing counties in the nation – which is also home to commercial hubs Plano and Frisco – Collin County has a higher concentration of workers in financial services than the wider Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex – double the industry’s national average.
Allen’s One Bethany West is the third of five planned Class A office projects in the new complex, joining One Bethany East and NETSCOUT. Two more build-to-suit development sites are available. Both the AEDC and the City of Allen will support the recruitment of new office tenants to the district.
One Bethany West provides immediate access to the new Watters Creek Convention Center and Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen, home to the “Stampede 66” restaurant from celebrity chef Stephan Pyles. The property is located across from Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms, a resort-style, mixed-use development on 52 acres. The center incorporates a creek-side village green, interactive public art, a variety of retail options, restaurants, office space and residential lofts.
The AEDC recently announced that Allen has completed $500 million in new commercial projects in the past two years. The city also saw its workforce and business roster expand throughout the 2010s. The trend does not appear to be slowing, as Allen has 9 million square feet of Class A office space planned.