Area Development
KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, will establish a light-manufacturing facility in AllenPlace, with plans to add 80 new positions to its facility in Allen, Texas.

According to the firm and Allen Economic Development Corporation, KONE will add a light-manufacturing facility to its operations in North America. In May, KONE announced it would be the lead tenant for the $26 million first phase of AllenPlace. The firm has now committed to another 121,852 square feet for a light-manufacturing facility in the office park. Including light manufacturing and test facilities and office space, KONE will lease more than 169,000 square feet at AllenPlace, east of North Central Expressway between West Bethany and West McDermott Drives.

KONE has plans to occupy nearly a quarter of the master-planned, 22.5-acre, 700,000 square-foot, five-building Class A office park being developed by Houston-based Sentinel Capital, LLC, in partnership with Centra Partners, LLC and Triad Real Estate.

The Allen Economic Development Corporation worked in partnership with Sentinel on the project, assisting with both the real estate transaction and KONE’s expansion.

KONE expects Sentinel Capital to break ground in the next few months, with plans to have most of the positions in place by the end of next year, according to Ron Bagwill, Vice President of Supply Operations for KONE Americas. Bagwill said some employees will relocate from a facility that has been operating in Torreon, Mexico, while other positions will be new hires.

He explained growth and proximity to United States and Canadian suppliers and customers were the key factors contributing to the decision to centralize sourcing, engineering and testing in Allen. The company said it will maintain its operations in Torreon, Mexico, with particular focus on manufacturing the core components of its elevator products, the elevator cars and doors.

“We will be customizing the elevator controls closer to where they are installed in the U.S. and Canada,” he said. “Our centralized location in Allen will simplify logistics, enhance quality and speed delivery.”

“KONE’s commitment to Allen and AllenPlace firmly anchors our vision for this office park, and they will serve as an important physical and symbolic landmark for what Allen means to corporate business,” said Dan Bowman, Allen Economic Development Corporation Executive Director/CEO.

While construction is underway, KONE continues to occupy office space in Allen Central Park and a testing facility in nearby McKinney. KONE is expected to take occupancy in the first half of 2015, according to Greg Nelson of Sentinel Capital.

“This public-private collaboration should speak volumes about our intent and commitment to be a corporate home for growing and developing businesses,” said Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell.