It's official: Uber to open new corporate hub in Dallas

Uber will open a brand new office in Dallas, officials announced on Tuesday.

The new corporate hub will be the company’s largest outside of its headquarters in San Francisco and eventually have 3,000 workers.

A combination of more than $36 million of incentives will be offered to Uber from the state, Dallas County and the city of Dallas. Dallas County commissioners announced the move just minutes after approving a near $3 million incentive package.

“Dallas became the first city in Texas where the Uber app was available in 2012, and since then Texas has been a hub of innovation for our platform,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber. “Uber is excited to bring this major investment to Texas and to increase our commitment to the City of Dallas. We are grateful for our partnership with Governor Abbott, Mayor Johnson and Judge Jenkins and their leadership in making this a reality.”

“It's the biggest deal ever for Dallas and Dallas County as far as the economic impact coming in,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Uber will move into a new 23-story building called The Epic. It is now under construction on the edge of Deep Ellum. It will begin with a few hundred workers and eventually have as many as 3,000 within four years.

The incident packages come with a catch. Uber is promising to create 3,000 positions with corporate positions with an average salary in the range of $100,000. Its drivers are hired separately as contractors.

“The incentives are tied to residency in Dallas. This is not a something-for-nothing deal,” Johnson said. “This is a very intelligent deal. Very well thought out in the sense that incentives are tied to the jobs being created in Dallas for people who live in Dallas.”

There's another hope tied to this deal: other technology companies will be lured to Dallas.

Brian Womack covers technology for the Dallas Business Journal.              

“It brings a lot of street cred to Dallas in the tech world,” Womack said. “It's a good brand name. Does this all lead to a lot of other stuff? That's an interesting question, but it can't hurt I would think that at the least.”

The deal does come with some critics.

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price abstained from Tuesday’s incentive vote. He was concerned over a lack of assurances that Uber will hire a workforce reflective of the city’s diversity.

“I want Uber to come like everybody else. I'm just trying to see where is the commitment,” Price said. “I'm looking at the demographics. I'm looking at the workforce for Dallas County technology occupational data.”

And while Mayor Johnson says the deal won't fix every problem with the workforce in Dallas, this deal is a net positive.

“I can't overstate just how big a deal this is for our city and the reputation for our city as being a 21st-century city. A forward-looking city,” he said.

In addition to its ride-hailing service, Uber offers food delivery via Uber Eats and scooter rentals using Jump. Uber is also working on its air taxi service, Uber Air, in the area.

The company's expansion comes at a time when it is still struggling to post a profit and has lost more than $6 billion since it went public in May.