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DALLAS-The Southern California-bred, 81-year-old Fluor Corp. is shifting the corporate headquarters to Dallas/Fort Worth. The location’s not been decided, but a Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. team will lead the site search.

A C&W spokesman says the local team has yet to be picked to lead the hunt for its longtime client. Fluor went public with the plan late yesterday to alert employees and the California business world about the exit from One University Dr. in Orange County’s Aliso Viejo. The relocation is expected to be complete by early 2006.

A Fluor spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that the Fortune 500 company will put its 100,000-sf-plus headquarters building on the sales block. Though the site search has yet to ramp up, he says “a location near the airport is important. I will say that.” With that as a base, CentrePort and Las Colinas most likely will be at the top of the list. The decision is expected within a few weeks, according to yesterday’s press release.

The Fluor spokesman says an estimated 100 jobs of the 490 corporate slots will be shaved through layoffs and attrition. Another 100 employees will be relocated to North Texas and 80 others reassigned to other Fluor offices. An estimated 70 jobs will be created locally.

“The relocation will have no effect on the company’s Southern California engineering operations located in Aliso Viejo and Long Beach,” Alan L. Boeckmann, chairman and CEO, says in the release. The operations, which grew by 6% last year, employ 900 people. The company’s philanthropic foundation also will remain in Southern California. It also won’t affect a 2,000-employee operations center in Houston, the spokesman says.

Boeckmann says the North American customer base is clustered in Texas and on the East Coast. A central time zone location–as brokers and state officials like to point out–is beneficial from an operations standpoint as well as travel logistics for reaching international and domestic customers and the nation’s financial centers. In the past two years, Fluor has moved several senior business unit executives to cities closer to their customer bases. Fluor, posting $9.4 billion in revenues in 2004, employs 30,000 worldwide and maintains 25 offices on six continents.

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