Where will Goldman Sachs land for its new North Texas campus?

With almost 50 million square feet of vacant office space, companies moving to North Texas have plenty of options for business locations.

Major financial companies including Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs and banking giant Wells Fargo are reportedly scouting the Dallas-Fort Worth area for offices to house thousands of workers.

But availability of workers — not real estate — is more likely to govern where big employers land.

Real estate brokers and site selection professionals say Goldman and other big companies will probably pick spots where it is easiest to attract workers — whether they want to them to relocate to the area or they’re luring them from competing firms.

“You have to be sure you are locating in the right areas to tap the specific skills you are looking for,” said King White, CEO and founder of Dallas-based Site Selection Group. “Labor is pretty much the dominating factor.”

Financial firms have plenty of options in downtown Dallas, the Southlake and Westlake area, Plano’s Legacy business park and Las Colinas, where there are huge pools of workers for banking, insurance, mortgage and financial services firms.

Rumors that Goldman Sachs is considering a new major office center in North Texas have circulated for more than a year. Real estate brokers say the Manhattan-based financial giant, which already has a major presence in the Dallas area, has looked at options in North Tarrant County and the Plano and Frisco area.

Just recently, one report suggested that Goldman’s plans would make the Dallas area one of the company’s largest employment centers.

Goldman has more than 1,000 workers in downtown Dallas’ Trammell Crow Center and over 600 employees in a consumer banking unit in Richardson’s Galatyn Park.

Goldman Sachs representatives will only say “we continue to grow our presence in the Dallas area.”

As with Goldman Sachs, there has been real estate chatter for more than a year that San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is looking for a large block of office space in the Dallas area where it could consolidate operations employees.

Its competitor JPMorgan Chase made a similar move with its huge office campus in Plano’s Legacy West development.

Real estate brokers say Wells Fargo has been eyeing several hundred thousand square feet of offices in Las Colinas and near DFW International Airport.

“We do not have anything to share at this time,” a Wells Fargo representative said in an email.

Both firms would find North Texas an attractive location to expand an office operation due to the area’s labor costs and availability of real estate, say property agents and analysts.

“It 100% has to be about workers,” said Grant Pruitt, president of Dallas’ Whitebox real estate. “If Goldman Sachs, or any company for that matter, cannot find talent and continue to recruit good talent, then any real estate strategy would fall flat.

“Existing labor pools must be considered, but future labor pools must also be considered,” he…

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