|Construction work has started on Apple's expanded presence in Austin, Texas, the Austin America-Statesman reports. Crews are said to be doing earthwork at the new West Parmer site, and have already erected a concrete shell for what appears to be a three-story office building. So far, though, no signs have identified the project, its future occupant, or even the company doing the construction, although the developer is known to be Conor Commercial. A security guard has refused to say whether or not Apple is involved.
The site is a matter of public record though, and located directly across from Apple's existing Austin complex. The company will get as much as $36 million or more in city, county, and state handouts, contingent on it meeting certain economic criteria, above all creating 3,600 jobs over the course of 10 years. Most of the positions will involve service, support, and finance work. To date 18 job listings have opened up for what Apple is calling its Americas Operation Center; as an example, one listing asks for a "Brazil subject matter expert" in finance.
Apple must spend at least $56.5 million on the expansion by 2016, and then another $226 million in a second phase, which will only be complete by the end of 2021. Eventually the expansion should consist of seven buildings, and three parking garages, holding up to 5,500 vehicles. Conor, meanwhile, recently told the City of Austin that it's making progress in reaching out to minority contractors that can bid on parts of the construction. The firm has hired a minority outreach consultant, and claims it's beating city quotas for minorities during the first phase.