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State Farm to Locate Thousands of Jobs Near Transit

11:29 AM EDT on March 17, 2015

A rendering of State Farm's proposed transit-adjacent office tower for Atlanta. The insurance company will employ 8,000 in that region. Image: T4A
A rendering of State Farm's proposed office tower next to a MARTA rail station in Atlanta. The insurance company will be adding 3,000 employees in that region. Image: T4A
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Some very good news for a few American cities: It is now the official policy of insurance giant State Farm to locate its sizable offices near transit. The company's forward-looking approach should help relieve traffic congestion and promote low-cost, low-emissions commuting in some of the country's more sprawling metros.

Stephen Lee Davis at Transportation for America has more on State Farm's location strategy:

“We’re designing these workplaces to be the future of State Farm,” chief operating officer Michael Tipsord said at an Arizona State University event. “We’re creating a live-work-play environment that will give employees easy access to their work from the neighboring communities.”

The new hub in Tempe will give State Farm enough space to expand their Phoenix-area workforce from 4,500 to more than 8,000, and will be a ten-minute walk from a Valley Light Rail stop right by Sun Devil stadium at the edge of the Arizona State University campus.

In Atlanta, State Farm is at the center of an enormous 2.2-million-square-foot development at Perimeter Center, already one of the biggest job hubs in the entire metro region, located immediately adjacent to a MARTA heavy rail station. State Farm’s plan to lease more than 500,000 square feet in a larger development has been making waves in economic development circles in Atlanta. They’re planning to hire another 3,000 employees to augment the 5,000 already in metro Atlanta, bringing new jobs to this region as well.

It’s likely to be part of consolidating workers presently at other sites in far-flung Atlanta suburbs that State Farm has already sold. In a region with notoriously bad traffic and jobs scattered all over the metro area, it’s hard to overstate the significance for Atlanta.

North of Dallas in Richardson, TX, State Farm is building a new hub from scratch on the main north-south light rail line that will anchor an enormous new mixed-use development. This site, with room to expand further, is so close to the light rail stop that the executives could probably hit golf balls off the roof of the new buildings and hit the tracks. And at over 2 million square feet of office space, the Dallas Business Journal called it “the largest lease in North Texas history.”

Bravo, State Farm! May other big companies follow suit.

Elsewhere on the Network today: West North looks at how housing supply affects prices (it's not as simple as you think, says Payton Chung). Family Friendly Cities defends "beg buttons" and pedestrian flags. And The Overhead Wire explains how real-time arrival data can boost transit ridership.

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