Construction crews are closing in on completion of one of Irving’s largest corporate headquarters projects.
When the building opens this fall, almost 2,000 employees with the faith-based, not-for-profit health system will move into the tower, which is rising on a busy intersection next to State Highway 114.
“We were so lucky to get this location,” said Marty Margetts, Christus Health’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “We’ve outgrown our current facility and have subleased space with employees over in another building. We all were at home for COVID and now are all back and want a special place for our employees to enjoy.”
Christus Health is expanding its Irving headquarters space by almost a third with the pending move. The international operator of hospitals and clinics a decade ago relocated its head office from San Antonio to Las Colinas. The move consolidated jobs previously located in San Antonio, Houston and Irving.
Since then, the company has almost doubled its headquarters workforce. The Christus system includes more than 600 centers, including community hospitals, urgent care centers, health insurance companies and physician clinics.
“I worked on the deal 12 years ago when they were trying to decide where to locate the headquarters,” said Kevin O’Neil, CEO and one of the founders of Fidelis Healthcare Partners, which is developing the new building. “Two things stood out for D-FW — one was the quality and depth of the labor. And the airport was no minor thing with them being an international health care firm with operations in Central and South America.”
In 2020, Christus Health teamed with Fidelis to develop the 460,000-square-foot headquarters tower.
“We are almost there,” O’Neil said. “We are targeting substantial completion at the end of August and first occupancy in October.”
Dallas architect BOKA Powell designed the building with its blue-tinted glass exterior to stand out from its neighbors.
“We wanted something that contrasted the old with the new,” said partner Don Powell. “This building is unlike anything else in Las Colinas.”
The Christus building also is a departure from most new corporate facilities, with a 109-seat chapel off the lobby and religious motifs.
“On the first floor, we’re building not only the chapel but a heritage center looking back at their history and telling their story,” Powell said. “The three [Catholic] congregations that formed the Christus organization are still with them today and are a big part of this company.”
The tall lobby space facing O’Connor Boulevard will have a wall of glass facing the street.
“It’s going to light up beautifully at night,” O’Neil said.
A third-floor common area will house a huge conference center, training and meeting rooms plus gathering areas for workers. Three outdoor terrace areas will overlook Las Colinas’ central business district.
The tower and adjoining 10-level parking garage are substantially complete on the exterior, with most of the work continuing inside.
Manhattan Construction Co. is the general contractor. The Christus project is one of the firm’s largest North Texas construction jobs, said project director Hal Hardister.
More than two dozen restaurants and three hotels are within walking distance.
“It’s exciting to see a business committed to their employees in your community, and Christus has been an incredible example of that,” said Beth Bowman, president and CEO of the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
Bowman said Irving was aggressive in its efforts to keep Christus in the city. The health firm looked at more than a dozen locations in North Texas before landing on the current site.
Irving’s city council voted to give Christus Health almost $4.9 million in economic incentives to build the headquarters in Las Colinas.
“Everybody wanted them, and it was really important to keep them right here in Irving,” Bowman said.
Christus owes its new headquarters location to its neighbor, State Bank of Texas.
The Dallas-based bank owned the corner site where the tower is going up, with land for its own new headquarters building next door. The bank’s founders — the Patel family — had previously obtained zoning to construct a hotel on the corner where the Christus tower is going.
“We are excited to make this corner what it really needs to be after it just sat dead for 30 years,” said bank president Sushil Patel. “This project gives a nice vibe for Las Colinas and adds to the momentum that is carrying forward with all the other new projects.”
State Bank of Texas this summer will open its four-story, 50,000-square-foot building facing S.H. 114.
“Our little building packs a big punch,” said Patel, who is chairman of the Las Colinas Association. “We’ll be consolidating our North Dallas office, our Irving office and Chicago office. As we’ve grown and just crossed over $2 billion in assets, we wanted something new.”