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Uber is slashing plans by about 2,500 jobs for Dallas site amid COVID-19 challenges

The San Francisco ride-hailing service will reduce its office space plans to 500 employees, according to an Uber spokesperson.

DALLAS — Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from the mayor and the Dallas County judge.

Uber – after the challenges of COVID-19 – is cutting its employee plans for Dallas by more than 80 percent.

The San Francisco ride-hailing service will reduce its office space plans to 500 employees, according to an Uber spokesperson. That compares to the roughly 3,000 previously expected eventually for the Dallas corporate operations.

“Given the dramatic impact of the pandemic, we are concentrating our efforts on our core mobility and delivery platforms and resizing our company to match the realities of our business, which has led us to the difficult decision of reducing our future Dallas office capacity,” the spokesperson said. “Uber is grateful for the responsible leadership Governor Abbott, Mayor Johnson, and Judge Jenkins have shown throughout this difficult time and we look forward to working with them to continue to make Texas a hub of innovation.”

With the move, Uber is terminating all of its incentives with local governments, the company said. They had totaled more than $30 million.

The company already had delayed some efforts amid the headwinds of the pandemic. Still, the change rolls back a key project for the city that received a lot of attention locally and beyond, including a ground-breaking event that featured visits by Gov. Greg Abbott, Mayor Eric Johnson and company CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, among others. Uber is one of the bigger names in Silicon Valley, and the addition was seen as a boost to the city.

The company could eventually expand beyond the 500 employees in the future, it said. It now has about nearly 200 corporate workers locally.

"I am disappointed but not surprised by Uber's decision, considering the significant economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic," Dallas Mayor Johnson said in an emailed statement. "Throughout the last year and a half, Uber has been an excellent partner to the city. We are heartened that Uber remains committed to Dallas and to employing hundreds of people in our city center."

Johnson added the city expects to continue working together in the years ahead.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins echoed the mayor's statement, saying that while the news is "unfortunate," the present and future for business relocation and expansion in Dallas is "extremely bright."

"We have nearly twice as many businesses looking to relocate here today as we did the day before the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” Jenkins said.

Earlier this week, Uber’s Khosrowshahi told staff they can work from anywhere as much as half the time, a slightly more lenient policy than the prior one, according to a report by Bloomberg and others.

Uber's current Dallas operations sit at Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management's “The Epic," which includes office, residential, retail and hotel options. A second building will have more than 470,000 square feet and cover 25 floors -- and the company was expected to have much of that office tower.

With the change of plans, Uber is in communication with the building owner and subleasing is a possibility for the real estate there, the company said.

COVID-19’s effects on Uber were swift as more and more people stayed home for work, education and play amid restrictions and concerns about the pandemic. In the second quarter of last year, overall sales declined more than 25 percent as its ride-hailing business dropped by about two-thirds.

To read more about this click here: https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2021/07/01/uber-slashing-jobs.html.