Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Will Build a New Campus in Austin

Earlier this year, Apple said that it would build a new campus somewhere in the United States. Axios reported at the time that it would not be in California or Texas. However, today, Apple has announced a billion-dollar campus to be built in Austin, along with new or expanded operations across the U.S.:

Apple’s newest Austin campus will be located less than a mile from its existing facilities. The 133-acre campus will initially accommodate 5,000 additional employees, with the capacity to grow to 15,000, and is expected to make Apple the largest private employer in Austin.

[…]

Apple plans to grow its employee base in regions across the United States over the next three years, expanding to over 1,000 employees in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City each, and adding hundreds of new jobs in Pittsburgh, New York, Boulder, Boston and Portland, Oregon. The company recently opened its newest office in Nashville, Tennessee and Apple’s Miami office is projected to double in size.

Ina Fried, Axios:

Apple is getting some incentives for the Austin expansion in the form of a $25 million grant from the state of Texas and what’s likely to be tens of millions of dollars in local property tax abatements. However, that’s a tiny fraction of what Amazon sought and got for its HQ2 moves in Virginia and New York. And Apple will still be providing fresh property tax revenue to the county.

This is a stark contrast to Amazon’s public request-for-proposal stunt, which resulted in cities across Canada and the United States grovelling to one of the world’s most valuable companies, with New York and Virginia ultimately giving it billions of tax dollars in the form of unearned incentives. It’s still not right — I mean, of course a company would try to build near its existing facilities — but it didn’t involve the same sort of nationwide adulation and, effectively, open bribery.