updated 07:47 pm EST, Wed January 30, 2013
Construction progressing to meet 2015 deadline
New construction on a second building as part of the expansion of the Apple campus in Austin TX is proceeding apace, alongside a not-yet-completed matching office building that together will provide 200,000 square feet of office space and cost $56.5 million. The construction is part of an overall plan to build facilities totalling a million square feet of new office and facility space towards the remaking of the campus into Apple's official "Americas Operation Center," serving both North and South America.
Apple has had a presence in Austin for some time, but the new expansion will create some 3,600 additional jobs over the course of 10 years -- doubling the present workforce there, reports AppleInsider. Phase one of the project is the construction of the new, three- or four-storey office buildings seen in the pictures below, which are directly across from the existing Apple campus.
Most of the positions will involve service, support and financial jobs, with salaries averaging $35,000 per year for the bottom 10 percent of workers and a minimum $11 per hour for contractors. Thus far, at least 18 job postings have already been sighted in local newspapers for the campus, including one asking for a "Brazil subject matter expert" in the company's finance department.
Apple agreed to certain economic criteria (including commitments on hiring and salaries) in exchange for various tax breaks totalling $36 million or so from city, county and state governments, assuming Apple will meet its deadlines for construction and city quotas for minority hiring and other conditions. Apple is required to complete the first phase by 2016, but the biggest portion of the expansion is not yet underway -- a $226 million commitment to some 800,000 square feet of facilities that must be completed by 2021, a total of seven building and three parking garages.
The total cost of the entire project is estimated at just over $300 million, and will yield economic benefits to the area in terms of both new jobs and construction but also ongoing intangible benefits such as boosting the area's reputation for technology companies looking to expand US operations. Samsung, currently a major supplier to Apple, located facilities in Austin in part to work closely with its client. The campus is expected to generate at least $15 million annually in benefits to the area over the next 15 years.