Apple’s selection of Austin, TX as the site for its new $304-million Operations Center is the Bronze Award winner in Business Facilities’ 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition.
The new facility, which will increase Apple’s workforce in Austin to more than 6,700, will serve as the primary operations nexus for the company in the Americas outside of Apple’s global headquarters in Cupertino, CA, centralizing accounting, human resources, sales, marketing and finance.
State, county and local agencies came together to put together a package for Apple that sealed the deal in an intense site-selection battle for the operations center. The Austin Chamber of Commerce, Travis County and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism were key players in bringing the project to fruition.
“Texas put down a marker with an aggressive incentives package which made it clear that the Lone Star State did not intend to be outgunned for this project, which turbocharges a strategic growth sector for the Austin region,” said Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers.
The state of Texas awarded one of the largest grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund in the history of the program—$21 million—which together with a property tax abatement from the City of Austin and Travis County provided for a total incentive package of $35 million for the operations center. Apple gave candidate locations a three-month window in which to make their proposals.
The new 1-million-square-foot campus in Austin will directly create 3,635 jobs generating about $273 million in new wages over the next 10 years. The Apple facility in Texas will become one of four major global operations centers for the tech giant outside of its California HQ.
Projects nominated for Business Facilities’ annual Economic Development Deal of the Year competition are asked to submit an Economic Impact Analysis for the project (using standard analysis methods including RIMS II, REMI or IMPLAN) and a narrative detailing how the project came together.
The judging panel, including industry experts and leading site selection consultants, evaluates the overall impact of the project and assesses the effectiveness and innovation of the location’s approach to landing the deal. Key factors in the evaluation include creative use of incentives, regional cooperation, partnerships with higher education resources, potential for growth and execution of overall economic development strategy.