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Toyota unveils sprawling North American campus in Plano (Video)

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As Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) unveiled its new North American headquarters in West Plano on Wednesday morning, CEO Jim Lentzsaid the company's sprawling campus would help make its 4,000-member team even stronger.

"Bringing our team members together at this striking and inspiring new campus in Plano will help Toyota become a more cohesive, collaborative and innovative company so we can serve our customers better," said Lentz, who unveiled the designs of the campus during a press conference at the campus site in Plano.

Lentz added the company's efforts to become "One Toyota," go hand-in-hand with the Japanese automaker's kick off of the Ever-Better Expedition on the North American leg of the journey.

Toyota launched the expedition to bring the automaker's employees from out of the office and into the Toyota driving experience by tackling some of the country's most challenging driving environments and interacting with customers.

The North American leg of the journey is part of a five continent driving project, which was inspired by Toyota President Akio Toyota.

Plans for the new 100-acre North American corporate campus in West Plano include developing seven office buildings up to five stories tall and arranged to sit next to a large central plaza with dining, fitness and conference facilities.

The building's exterior will be made of glass meant to evoke transparency, while the large central plaza inspires discovery and creativity, which Lentz told the Dallas Business Journal this past spring will be a magnet for young professionals.

The glass exterior of the buildings will be protected by generous roof overhangs, which will provide shade for the company's workers.

The landscaping will use regional and plants that use little water to reflect the native landscapes of the North Texas region. The campus will include water features that catch and store water for irrigation.

The entire campus — which is expected to total more than 2.1 million square feet— including the buildings and the various adjacent parking structures will support solar panels for renewable energy production.

Toyota plans to pursue LEED Platinum certification for the campus, which is the highest possible certification of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Dallas-based Corgan is the architect of Toyota's new North American campus in Plano within the $2 billion Legacy West development, which will also house the corporate office of FedEx Office and a large regional operation for Liberty Mutual.

By the time the campus is completed in 2017, Toyota North America, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), will bring roughly 4,000 jobs from throughout the country — California to New York — to Plano to begin its operations under one roof.

Toyota does not know how many employees will relocate to North Texas as part of the company's consolidation into Plano.

This spring, Lentz told me the three- to four-acre park in the middle of the new North American campus was central to the Japanese automaker bringing its North American operations under one roof as part of 'One Toyota.'

“We want something informal, where people can be outside meeting, or talking near a stairwell or other part of the building,” he told me. “We want them to have conversations on what they can be doing to better serve our customers and that’s what it’s all about.”

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