DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After thousands of jobs were expected to be created at Uber’s new major hub in Dallas, the company said it has reduced that forecast to 500 employees.
In a statement to CBS 11 News, the ride-hailing company said it decided to cut the capacity at the hub in the Deep Ellum area due to the “dramatic impact” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uber’s newest home was announced nearly two years ago and was expected to bring about 3,000 jobs to North Texas. A groundbreaking ceremony with Gov. Greg Abbott and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was held in November 2019.
The building is expected to be complete in 2022.
With the pandemic causing major changes within many businesses, Uber said it was forced to adapt.
“Given the dramatic impact of the pandemic, we are concentrating our efforts on our core mobility and delivery platforms and resizing our company to match the realities of our business, which has led us to the difficult decision of reducing our future Dallas office capacity down to 500 employees. Uber is grateful for the responsible leadership Governor Abbott, Mayor Johnson, and Judge Jenkins have shown throughout this difficult time and we look forward to working with them to continue to make Texas a hub of innovation.”
Due to not being able to hire 3,000 workers, Uber also terminated economic incentives that were agreed upon between the company, the city of Dallas, Dallas County and the state of Texas. The company had been set to receive $36 million in incentives.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins reacted to the ride-hailing giant’s decision, saying it’s disappointing.
“They’re not going to meet the benchmarks. They don’t expect to get that money. The space is built, they will sub-lease it. Somebody’s going to come in there and create jobs for Dallas,” Jenkins said.
Uber currently employs 200 people in a temporary office in Dallas before they move to the new building. The company is expected to hire an additional 300 employees over the next two to three years.
“I am disappointed but not surprised by Uber’s decision, considering the significant economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said. “Throughout the last year and a half, Uber has been an excellent partner to the city. We are heartened that Uber remains committed to Dallas and to employing hundreds of people in our city center. We expect to continue working together in the years ahead as we build for the future and make Dallas an internationally recognized hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The city of Dallas said it paid Uber more than $25,000 already and will be working with the company to get that money back.
“We’ve got twice as many businesses looking to move here as we did the day before the COVID pandemic hit. So it’s disappointing but the future and the present are bright for Dallas,” Jenkins said.