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ARLINGTON, TX-AmeriCredit Corp. is off and running on a planned expansion, thanks to a recent 32-acre purchase abutting its 29-acre holding in south Arlington.

The Ft. Worth-based consumer-finance company plans to break ground in January on a 200,000-sf call center adjacent to its North American Operations Center, a 250,000-sf building situated at the corner of Collins and Interstate 20. The second phase will be ready for occupancy in mid-February 2002.

But, there’s room to grow without any additional land purchases, Thomas Lehrman, senior vice president-facilities, tells GlobeSt.com. No expansion plans will be entertained until the second phase is finished, he emphasizes.

A preliminary price tag of $30 million has been tossed around, but Lehrman says total project costs are still being worked out. The structure will be a duplicate of the existing facility–just a shade smaller. He says the same team that built the first phase will construct this one. That team had been led by Carter-Burgess Inc., also of Ft. Worth.The building will support a staff of 1,200 to 1,400 workers, who will be recruited from the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. AmeriCredit says the average annual wage will be $32,600. AmeriCredit currently employs about 1,000 workers in Arlington.

AmeriCredit has established a high-profile presence in Arlington in the past two years since its opening of the 250,000-sf operations center. When completed, the workforce at the dual buildings could make AmeriCredit one of the city’s top five employers. “We like Arlington,” Lehrman explains of the expansion decision.

AmeriCredit had been in negotiations for the land purchase for several months. The additional acreage has been bought from David Dunning and Gordon Edwards.

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