For nearly a year, the question as to whether American Airlines will keep its headquarters in Fort Worth has loomed over city officials.
We’re sensing that the answer may be coming sooner rather than later, with expectations that the city’s biggest employer is staying put.
David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, broached the topic at a chamber event last week, confirming efforts by other cities “trying to steal American Airlines’ headquarters from us.”
Irving has been “very aggressive” in its efforts to draw the airline a little to the east, he said.
But Berzina said he “feels very good” that Fort Worth’s marquee company will stay and that an announcement could come soon.
The chamber and the city have been “working diligently” with American, he said.
American had not given any indication when it will announce a decision.
“We regularly give updates to the board of directors on where we are on our search for a new building or staying exactly where we are and they will get another update in October at their quarterly board meeting.” American spokesman Casey Norton said.
In November, CEO Doug Parker confirmed that the airline was reviewing its space needs and considering a number of options for its headquarters, including staying in existing buildings.
The airline has about 25,000 employees locally and two headquarters buildings on Amon Carter Boulevard, just south of DFW Airport, that house executive offices and thousands of workers. One was built in 1988, the other in 1990, and space is tight as the company has hired thousands.
The company has spent money remodeling the buildings, converting data center space into offices this year. Parker also remodeled the executive suites in 2014, taking out a private shower and bathroom.
This month, American will open a 149,000-square-foot Integrated Operations Center on the west side of Texas 360 about a mile from the headquarters building. The project received a 15-year, $6.5 million tax incentive from the city. The IOC is adjacent to the company’s flight academy and reservations office as well as across the street from American’s training facility.