Planning and Approving AT&T

Beginning in 1982, when they agreed with the federal government to divest the local Bell Telephone companies, a number of changes started to take place at AT&T. As a result of this corporate reorganization, a new company officially know as AT&T Communications, comes into its own on January 1, 1984. It will be a much different company from the one that has been operating in the past.

The changes have affected virtually every AT&T office in the country, and in California, the San Francisco AT&T office is no exception. For years, the office on Folsom Street has been providing long distance services for 11 Western states. That AT&T building was originally designed to accommodate 900 people, but normal growth, combined with the new growth from the divestiture, will nearly double that number of employees.

Given the rapid growth in the responsibilities and number of personnel in the San Francisco offices, AT&T Communications urgently needed to expand its operations.

In April of this year, AT&T made the decision to relocate their regional headquarters to Pleasanton. Two sites, Hacienda Business Park and Centerpointe in the Stoneridge Mall, were selected as sites for the new buildings.

Before the decision was made to move to Pleasanton, however, a number of key items were taken into consideration. Location, accessibility, labor market and economic environment were important factors in the decision.

"After an extensive cost study of doing business in all parts of the Bay Area, all paths led to the Pleasanton area," states Fred Wellmann, Vice President of Network, of the Western Region of AT&T Communications. Besides Pleasanton's central location and easy access to Highways 580 and 680, its congenial surroundings and labor market were also influential.

Wellmann explains, "The Tri-Valley offers an excellent quality and quantity of work force. Schools and households in the area assure us a selection of qualified individuals."

In the next year AT&T Communications anticipates hiring some 600-800 people for a variety of positions.

Space was also a factor in determining the specific site of the expanded headquarters. Two separate sites were selected to house the 2,000 plus employees that will be part of the new AT&T. The company has leased a total of 400,000 square feet of office space at Hacienda Business Park and at Centerpointe near Stoneridge Mall.

"We found land and buildings available in Pleasanton which would provide us with better facilities than any we could afford in downtown San Francisco," states Wellmann.

At Hacienda, over 1,800 employees will eventually occupy the 300,000 square feet in the six AT&T Communications buildings on West Las Positas Boulevard. The company's Network Engineering, Operations and Support functions will be housed there.

Centerpointe, on the Stoneridge Mall periphery, provides an additional 100,000 square feet of office space. The company's Telemarketing, Personnel Department and other divisions will eventually have about 600 employees.

From the time the decision to move was made to the arrival of the first AT&T Communications employees into their new quarters, only six months had elapsed. A number of factors are responsible for the rapid progress in the short amount of time, according to Wellmann.

"The City and residents of Pleasanton were extremely helpful, as were the developers, The Prudential Insurance Company of America and Callahan-Pentz," he says. "Everyone was influential in helping us build one of the most efficient working facilities around.''

To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: January 1, 1984 Pathways.

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