News last month that State Farm will be the anchor tenant in a 2 million square foot multi-use development being constructed in Tempe is only part of the story, State Farm spokesman Robert Villegas said.
Marina Heights will be the largest office development in Arizona’s history. When complete, it will become the hub for many of the 2,100 employees now working for State Farm.
But even before the $600 million complex opens around 2017, State Farm is looking to expand its workforce.
The company currently has 900 openings for its current Tempe and Phoenix locations, Villegas said.
“We’re going to be continuing hiring throughout 2013, so we’re going to have a great many more employees than the 2,100 we have now,” he said. “We’re moving rapidly in terms of trying to get quality people in. That’s the key to any success. The building is important, but ultimately the work has to be done to the satisfaction of the customer.”
Job openings are in many areas, including loss reporting and claims service, sales, customer response, banking and information technology.
“Positions range from something appropriate to someone who has never done anything in insurance or new to the workforce. We provide benefits both for full-time and part-time employees,” he said.
State Farm owns or leases about 1 million square feet of space now in the Valley. Paired with the announcement of the Marina Heights construction came news that State Farm has sold its office space at Fountainhead Corporate Park, at Alameda and Priest roads. State Farm will lease back that facility for 10 years, Villegas said.
Villegas wouldn’t pinpoint an exact number of employees that could be housed at Marina Heights.
“The number of employees we’ll have at that point we depend on our business needs and where we are. It’s three and a half years out. A lot of things can change between now and then,” he said.
But he is confident that the company will grow.
“Ultimately once we begin occupying the facility ... The majority of our employees and many of our offices will be housed at Marina Heights. In the intervening time frame, we’re staffing up to provide the kind of service we need to be providing,” he said.
In addition to State Farm, Marina Heights will include retail, restaurants, business services, fitness facility and additional space. It is being constructed on 20 acres of land by Tempe Town Lake that is owned by ASU.
“This is a proud day for Tempe and everyone involved. We are tremendously excited about what the addition of State Farm will mean to our community over the decades to come,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said in a release. “These employees, buildings, and amenities will further contribute to and showcase the vibrancy of Tempe Town Lake, Mill Avenue, and Arizona State University, and serve as a catalyst for more high-quality development.”
Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Sunbelt Holdings will develop the site.
State Farm will hold a job fair June 11-12 at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Phoenix Airport, 320 N. 44th St. It will run 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 11 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 12. Potential job candidates are encouraged to start the application process online at statefarm.com, but registration for the job fair is not necessary. Interviews will be conducted on site.
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