Irving City Council approved a $30 million-plus taxpayer-funded incentive package on Thursday for Wells Fargo to build a lakeside office campus in Las Colinas.
The deal calls for Wells Fargo to complete its $200 million regional office campus by 2026.
Located near Las Colinas Boulevard and Promenade Parkway, the site will serve as the bank’s regional hub. The 800,000-square-foot facility is expected to house up to 4,000 Wells Fargo workers, according to Irving City Council.
Emmanuel Lewis has lived in Irving for 14 years. He believes the $30 million incentive deal between Wells Fargo and the city is a misuse of taxpayer dollars and could potentially harm economically vulnerable homeowners.
With over a decade of unpleasant homeowner experiences under his belt living in the city, Lewis spoke exclusively with The Dallas Express about why he believes the agreement is bad for the city and the homeowners it is meant to benefit.
“Wells Fargo’s over $4 billion rap sheet of fines, penalties, and violations is a clear sign the bank isn’t interested in protecting homeowners once it builds its regional hub here,” said Lewis.
He said Wells Fargo received $25 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars after the 2008 mortgage crisis but pointed out that “homeowners did not get bailed out” and do not receive any financial breaks for moving to the city.
As an Irving homeowner, Lewis claims to have received zero help from the city for troubles relating to loan modification, loan refinancing, and mortgage payment assistance, among others.
“I’m sorry, but the city does not have any programs to assist homeowners with mortgage payments,” read a 2018 email response from City of Irving Director Steven Reed to Lewis.
The Dallas Express contacted the City of Irving to follow up with Steven Reed for comment but he has since retired from the position. It is now under the leadership of assistant director Jocelyn Murphy, who had not responded to The Dallas Express’ request for comment at the time of publishing.
“Instead of using that money to provide mortgage assistance to people in financial need, the city is giving it to a bank with a history of wrongdoing,” Lewis told The Dallas Express.
In addition to Wells Fargo’s regional campus, the metroplex will soon have other new office spaces subsidized by taxpayers. The Dallas City Council recently approved an $18 million taxpayer-funded incentive package for Goldman Sachs to locate 5,000 workers to an 800,000-square-foot office campus near downtown Dallas.
Wells Fargo representatives have yet to comment on the regional hub’s approval.
“We still do not have anything to share at this time,” a company representative said.
Dallas developer KDC was awarded the contract to construct two of the bank’s 10-story office buildings, which feature an open landscape and a pedestrian promenade along the waterfront.
The development is expected to increase the city’s taxable property value by a minimum of $200 million, according to the city council filings.
Wells Fargo’s proposed Las Colinas office campus will be connected to a planned mixed-use development that is expected to include between 340 and 400 apartments with space for restaurants and retail shops.
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