Presented by The Dallas Morning News
Irving-based CEC Entertainment is moving its headquarters for the first time in 30 years.
But the company that owns the popular Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain isn’t leaving town. CEC Entertainment is staying in Irving but relocating to a new spot near the north end of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
“Irving is great for a multi-site business, and the proximity to the airport is fantastic,” said CEC Entertainment chief executive Tom Leverton. “The move will be great for our organization.”
Leverton said when he joined the firm last July, the company had pretty much decided to stay in its longtime offices on Airport Freeway.
Then, in an employee meeting, he was asked if the firm would think about shifting to a newer building.
“I told them I would consider relocation, and there was spontaneous applause,” Leverton said.
CEC Entertainment just signed a lease in the Westway One building located on Market Place Boulevard near LBJ Freeway. The restaurant company will take 55,257 square feet in the building and move more than 250 employees in July.
Leverton said the relocation will allow a complete makeover of his company’s workspace.
“It will be great for the organization and a nice break from the past,” he said. “We’ve been happy here for three decades, but it’s set up in a way that’s a little bit old school.”
The new headquarters will have an open floor plan that promotes more communication.
“It lets us get closer together in an open environment,” Leverton said. “A lot of people now in offices will be out amongst the teams.”
Along with offices, the new headquarters space will include an on-site test kitchen and an entertainment production studio.
The Westway One building is leased by PM Realty Group. PM Realty’s Kurt Cherry, Brittany Ricketts and Shea Byers negotiated the lease with JLL’s Carl Ewert and Elysia Ragusa.
Leverton said CEC Entertainment looked at about three or four locations before picking the office building on the north side of LBJ Freeway.
“That building really gives us everything we are looking for,” he said. “It lets our employees on both sides of D-FW have a nice central location.”
CEC Entertainment now has just under 600 Chuck E. Cheese restaurant locations.
“We just completed last year the purchase of Peter Piper Pizza and that added another 200 locations,” Leverton said. “We are looking at growing our footprint with new locations of both brands.”
Last year the company was purchased by an affiliate of New York-based Apollo Global Management LLC in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.
Leverton said the new CEC Entertainment headquarters is large enough that it will allow the company to grow its workforce as it adds to operations.
The company already consolidated some workers to Irving after the merger with Phoenix-based Peter Piper Pizza, he said.