Leaving Burbs for Downtown – Firm Moves to ‘The Most Iconic Building’

DALLAS – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – At a time when coronavirus has boosted the popularity of work-at-home and remote job production, a major independent distributor of life and health insurance products is creating a new headquarters in downtown Dallas that emphasizes a cooperative work atmosphere.

Integrity Marketing Group has begun relocating its corporate headquarters – renamed a “shared service center” — to the 58-story Fountain Place tower in Big D’s downtown Arts District. It will also move hundreds of highly skilled professionals from its suburban Dallas location in Coppell.

Moving Downtown: The RNR Interview with  CEO Bryan W. Adams

The firm will initially occupy six floors and about 100,000 SF of the iconic Dallas high-rise. “We are now there in a temporary capacity as we build out the rest of the floors,” Bryan W. Adams, co-founder and CEO of Integrity, told Realty News Report. “We will be in by next spring.”

He said the office structure will encourage employees to work together “on new ideas and better ways to serve customers. Integrity is an insurtech company powered by highly skilled people who work better when they can collaborate and innovate together in person.”

“We believe now is an important time to provide our teams with a dynamic office environment that reflects our focus on innovation, our commitment to our employees and the important changes we’re making to the industry,” said Adams. “We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of our journey together in downtown Dallas.”

Architecture by I.M. Pei, Harry Cobb, Dan Kiley

The newly renovated glass prism building was designed by famed architects I.M. Pei, Harry Cobb and Dan Kiley. Integrity will relocate hundreds of highly skilled, specialized professionals to downtown Dallas, with plans in place to further accommodate the company’s ongoing, rapid growth.

The CEO did point out that “the move represents a notable counter trend, contrasting with technology companies across the U.S. that have been leaving urban areas in favor of suburban office locations, or reducing office space in response to COVID-19.”

“As market leaders in our industry, we have been experiencing tremendous growth,” he explained “Even with the pandemic, Integrity grew more than 110 percent in 2020 and we are focused on continued expansion. Fountain Place offers world-class space for us to continue to grow and thrive.”

The firm’s top executive did note that “we have a process for people who want to work remotely.” He added that “the vast majority” of workers are “excited to get back” to the closeness of an office situation.

Vice President of People & Culture: “A Vertical Campus”

The Fountain Place site is enticing, noted Rachelle McReynolds, vice president of People & Culture and CHRO at Integrity. “Our new home offers us a one-of-a-kind vertical campus where we can collaborate and celebrate in architectural art with unmatched employee amenities and conveniences.”

CBRE’s Josh White and Ryan Buchanan represented Integrity in the transaction, while CBRE’s Fletcher CordellDennis Barnesand Jackie Marshall represented Fountain Place ownership, Goddard Investment Group. Corgan architectural firm was selected to design a custom, culture-expanding space for Integrity’s growth.

The First Big Suburban-to-Downtown Move

“This is the first deal of this size moving from a suburban location into downtown Dallas, when the trend has been the reverse over the past decade,” said White, who is executive vice president at CBRE. “We are excited to help Integrity find a new and iconic home at Fountain Place where they can further develop their business and enhance their reputation as the market leader in their industry.”

Goddard’s $75 Million Redo

Goddard Investment Group recently completed a $75 million renovation, including the addition of a 10-story parking garage, retail and restaurant space and a tenant lounge and conference center.

The redesign completes Pei’s original vision by opening the lobby to the outside plaza and namesake fountains designed by landscape architect, Dan Kiley. The office building shares the plaza with AMLI Fountain Place, a 45-story upscale residential tower that opened last fall.

Adams said the company’s previous suburban location was too small for the firm’s anticipated growth. Both he and Steven Sigrist, chief financial officer at Integrity, said the firm conducted an extensive search for appropriate quarters before deciding on Fountain Place.

“After an exhaustive review of real estate options across the DFW metroplex, we found downtown Dallas not only provided us with some of the most attractive economics, but also a location that can accommodate our growth and expansion needs,” pointed out Sigrist. “The vast number of talented professionals that live near downtown was also a deciding factor.”

How to Grow Fast in a Pandemic

Integrity is experiencing rapid expansion, with more than 100 platform partner offices throughout the country. Since the start of 2021, the firm has grown from 1,700 to nearly 5,500 employees.

Last year, despite the pandemic, Integrity acquired 40 agencies throughout the United States and is on track to add double that many in 2021. Integrity uses proprietary technology and data analytics to simplify and streamline the healthcare experience for everyone.

Integrity also has relationships with more than 450 insurance carrier partners and develops exclusive products designed to better meet the diverse needs of American consumers. Integrity’s 370,000 agents service more than eight million clients and will generate more than $7 billion in sales this year.

The move into “the most iconic building in Dallas,” said Adams, “will provide us with the space and growth potential we need to serve more agents and consumers in significant ways. Bringing our talented employees to this inspiring landmark will not only allow us to expand our teams and partner support services, but also enhance our ability to transform the industry.”

June 23, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

For more about Texas real estate, check out the book Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up  by Ralph Bivins. Available on Amazon  http://tiny.cc/4a2g6y  

Houston 2020 Ebook version  https://tinyurl.com/4xm7z8b5    

Image Courtesy Integrity

File: Leaving Burbs for Downtown

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