A California-founded eyewear maker has completed its relocation to Texas, opening the doors to its new headquarters in Frisco’s Star Business Park on Tuesday.
The military-grade eyewear company, which is celebrating its 35th year in business, broke ground on the 65,000-square-foot facility in summer 2021 after the Frisco Economic Development Corp. approved a $371,800 performance agreement.
Formerly, the family-owned business operated out of the Bay Area.
The facility will be used for production, assembly and testing of products for safety certifications. It will also have space for its warehouse and office needs.
Wiley X plans to open its first retail store in the building in 2024.
The company said it will create 88 full-time jobs in Frisco, with some going to those who relocate from California and some going to local hires. In exchange, Frisco offered Wiley X $4,225 for each full-time job created.
The company, which was founded by U.S. veteran Myles Freeman Sr., has been supplying products to the U.S. military and law enforcement since it was founded in 1987.
Frisco was the ideal city for the company because of its large military veteran population, the company said in the announcement. Texas is also a popular place for the activities that Wiley X makes eyewear for, including hunting, fishing and shooting, the company said.
There has been a steady stream of companies moving from California to Texas for the talent pool, friendly business climate and centralized location.
From 2018 to 2021, California lost 352 headquarters, according to a study issued jointly by Spectrum Location Solutions and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In 2021, companies moved their headquarters out of California at four times the rate in 2018.
Texas was the most popular state for those California companies’ relocations, according to the study.
In 2022, at least 24 companies moved headquarters to Texas, with seven coming from California, according to the relocation tracker monitored by YTexas. In 2021, Texas had 62 companies move headquarters to the state, with 25 coming from California.