Liberty Tax Service, the third-largest tax preparer in the United States, will expand its current international headquarters in Virginia Beach. The company, located at 1716 Corporate Landing Parkway, currently owns three buildings in Corporate Landing Business Park.
Liberty Tax Service’s campus includes a 31,000-square-foot one-story building, a 30,000-square-foot two-story building and a 9,814-square foot one-story building on two sites. The company plans to expand the 9,814-square-foot building by 25,000 square feet. The company will purchase an adjacent lot from the Virginia Beach Development Authority for $674,500 to accommodate the building expansion and additional parking.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority also has approved an Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $140,000, based on the number of jobs created with the expansion. Liberty Tax Service will create 47 full-time jobs within 30 months, with average annual salaries of $69,000. The grant will be used for workforce development and employee training, site work and utility upgrades.
“This expansion retains 393 full-time jobs in the city, plus an additional 400 seasonal jobs,” said Warren D. Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development. “These are high-salaried positions that include the CEO, legal advisors, technical support, managers, software designers and administrative staff. We know Liberty Tax Service looked at sites outside of Virginia Beach, and we are extremely pleased they have decided to remain here. We anticipate the company will continue to be one of our leading corporate examples of success.”
“The expansion will help us realign our call center operation into a web-based application,” said John Hewitt, founder and CEO of the tax service. “We are proud to call Virginia Beach home, and we are fortunate to find the perfect solution to expand in our current location.”
Liberty Tax Service started in Canada on Sept. 1, 1997, when Hewitt acquired a Canadian tax franchisor, U&R Tax Depot. In 1998, the company became Liberty Tax Service and opened five offices in the United States. In 2013, Liberty Tax Service prepared 1.8 million tax returns. The company has 4,520 tax offices, including 4,262 in the United States and 258 in Canada. It has 2,211 franchisees in all 50 states. Accounting Today named Liberty Tax to its "Top Tax Firms" list in 2010 and in 2011. Liberty Tax Service has been ranked as one of the top franchise opportunities on Entrepreneur magazine’s annual Franchise 500 every year from 1998 to 2012. For more information, visit www.libertytax.com.
This is the third major announcement for Corporate Landing Business Park within the past year. In 2013, Green Flash Brewery selected the park as the site for its $20 million East Coast brewing operation, which is scheduled to open in 2015. KBH Business Management Systems, the software division of JES, just announced plans to create 33 jobs at the company’s new headquarters location at 1741 Corporate Landing Parkway. Corporate Landing is a 325-acre business park developed by the Virginia Beach Development Authority. Other major tenants include the regional headquarters of GEICO, the corporate headquarters for Al-Anon Family Groups, and Lockheed Martin, among others. There are 125 acres currently available for development in this vibrant corridor.
The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 440,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best-Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 29 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. Virginia Beach has been recognized as the Top 7 Big City Leading the U.S. Manufacturing Revival by Forbes. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi Magazine. CNNMoney.com ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.