- Computing giant Apple announced Thursday that it will invest $1 billion on a new Austin, Texas, campus. This represents an expansion of its existing operations in the city, where it employs 6,200, the largest concentration of Apple workers outside its home base of Cupertino, California.
- Apple held a press conference to announce the new plan at its current Austin campus, which is about a mile from the 133-acre Robinson Ranch site, where it plans to build almost 3 million square feet of offices to support employees performing engineering, research and development, operations, finance, sales and customer service functions. The campus will include 50 acres of open preserve, and all workspaces will be powered by renewable energy. Apple said it will employ approximately 5,000 new workers at the new campus, which has the potential to accommodate 15,000 employees, which would make the company the biggest employer in Austin.
- Kristina Rapse, vice president of global real estate for Apple, told KXAN that construction of the first building should take between 30 and 36 months. “Apple is among the world’s most innovative companies and an avid creator of jobs in Texas and across the country,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in the press release. “Their decision to expand operations in our state is a testament to the high-quality workforce and unmatched economic environment that Texas offers."
The new offices in Austin are part of the company’s plan to invest $350 billion in the U.S. during the next five years, an initiative Apple announced in January. Of that amount, the company expects about $30 billion to go toward capital investments, which include construction projects.
Apple expects to spend more than $10 billion of that money on data centers. The company announced in 2017 it would spend $1.3 billion for a new facility in Waukee, Iowa. In return, Apple will get $208 million in tax breaks from the state and local governments.
Earlier this year, Facebook also announced that it would expand an Altoona, Iowa, data center, making good on a $1.5 billion investment commitment there.
Iowa contractors are likely becoming experts at building data centers, given the number of these projects completed, underway or in the planning stages there. Earlier this year, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, an economic development group, reported that the area has more than 6 million square feet of data center space either open or on the way. In addition to the Facebook and Apple projects, the organization said that Microsoft also plans to expand on its existing data center facilities in the city.