Apple 'frustrated' as plans for new Austin, Tex., facility are 'in peril'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Doubt has been cast on Apple's plans for a new facility in Austin, Tex., after a local official has claimed the project is "in peril" because of delays.

In March, the Austin City Council approved a grant worth $8.6 million for Apple to expand its offices and create as many as 3,600 new jobs in the city. Apple has proposed to invest $304 million and more than double the size of its workforce in Texas.

But this week, Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said those plans are now in doubt, according to The Statesman. He said the problems stem from the county government, which has allegedly been holding up the deal by asking for new conditions tied to the financial incentives.

"The deal is not done," Porter said. "It remains in peril, and Apple is frustrated."

Though the city rubber stamped its $8.6 million grant more than a month ago, the Travis County Commissioners Court remains undecided on its own incentives. The court gave initial approval for between $5.4 million and $6.4 million earlier this month, but a vote for final approval has been pushed back until next week.

Attorney Bill Aleshire criticized the proposed contract with Apple as "sorry," and suggested the company "rigged" the deal so that they wouldn't have to comply with the county's terms.

Apple Austin facility
Apple's facilities in Austin, Texas, via WebProNews.


Porter said he and the chamber are "disappointed" that the Commissioners Court couldn't finalize their deal this week. But he added that they are "hopeful" it will become official at a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday.

Apple's plans call for its new facility to be built on 38 acres of land with at least one million square feet of office space. It would function as Apple's new "Americas Operations Center."

Local officials initially chose to be aggressive in courting Apple and offering incentives because the company was looking at other potential locations for the facility. It was said that Phoenix, Ariz., was another city Apple was considering.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member


    Shouldn't that read "Chamber of Commerce frustrated as County screws with plans, pretending they have a clue how Apple feels"


     


    Really they likely have no idea what Apple feels about this. A big company like Apple is used to local governments playing games with them. And they deal with it. Maybe they are mad, maybe they aren't. Maybe they are frustrated, maybe they aren't. Maybe today they will put it out there that the deal was made and it will be signed as is or they will take the facility to somewhere else that won't try to play 23rd hour games. Or maybe they won't. 

  • Reply 2 of 77
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member


    Tell Austin to take a hike.  If some people can't get it together, then adios.

  • Reply 3 of 77
    ezduzitezduzit Posts: 158member


    apple doesn't need my advice but none the less,  they should tell the


    money grubbing austin tx politicians that they can shove austin.


     


    that $300+ million would receive a warm welcome in more cities than can be


    counted.  they are in north carolina now.  what about south carolina.  they


    would be welcome with open arms.

  • Reply 4 of 77
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    go texas!... go big or go Home. or is that put up a big fuss, then go home...
    LOL. we don't need no stinkin' Apple building here or taxes, or jobs...

    on a similiar topic..(in a far-far away place compared to Texas). funny story; a co-gen plant has been bulit in missisauga on the north side of the 401 ... it was to be built on the south side directly across from where it is now... why ? in seems that mississauga wanted taxes( or conditions not sure) that were too onerous... so they moved to the other side of the highway, which is in another district and built there! Does not happen often, i laughed at this story when i heard about it.
  • Reply 5 of 77


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post


    apple doesn't need my advice but none the less,  they should tell the


    money grubbing austin tx politicians that they can shove austin.


     


    that $300+ million would receive a warm welcome in more cities than can be


    counted.  they are in north carolina now.  what about south carolina.  they


    would be welcome with open arms.



     


    But a facility like this needs skilled workers.  The data centers need very few workers, and so it is possible to put them in place like the Carolinas.  


     


    They need thousands of competent workers for  this facility.  Places like Austin can provide them, but relatively few other locations can do it.  Where else?  San Fran, Boston, sure.  Chicago?  Dunno.  Memphis?  Probably not.  Boise?  No fuking way.


     


    Apple and Austin are a good match.  


     


     

  • Reply 6 of 77


     


    Quote:


    But a facility like this needs skilled workers.  The data centers need very few workers, and so it is possible to put them in place like the Carolinas.  


     


    They need thousands of competent workers for  this facility.  Places like Austin can provide them, but relatively few other locations can do it.  Where else?  San Fran, Boston, sure.  Chicago?  Dunno.  Memphis?  Probably not.  Boise?  No fuking way.


     


    Apple and Austin are a good match.




     


     


    Did you really just dis the entire state of South Carolina?


     


     

  • Reply 7 of 77
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,406member


    If I recall correctly, the Austin facility is for software development. Portland has a TON of iOS / Mac programmers (of course 98% of them are employed), but there seems to be a lot of talent in the area to build a facility around. I know that some of the iWork team is in Vancouver, WA... why not expand there? I'm sure Portland or Vancouver would be much more interested in the proposed money than Austin obviously.

  • Reply 8 of 77
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


     


     


    But a facility like this needs skilled workers.  The data centers need very few workers, and so it is possible to put them in place like the Carolinas.  


     


    They need thousands of competent workers for  this facility.  Places like Austin can provide them, but relatively few other locations can do it.  Where else?  San Fran, Boston, sure.  Chicago?  Dunno.  Memphis?  Probably not.  Boise?  No fuking way.


     


    Apple and Austin are a good match.  


     


     



     


    There are plenty of cities that could provide the necessary number of skilled people. Phoenix. Charleston, SC. Research Triangle Park, NC. Rochester. Anywhere in southern CA. Chicago. Seattle. Portland. Dallas. And many, many more.

  • Reply 9 of 77
    ezduzitezduzit Posts: 158member


    a zither dither comment with a lame response.


     


    why not new jersey?  there are more tecnical people available in nj than 99% of the country


    and it is closer to nyc for a dose of culture and a good italian dinner (nj too) than any tx offering.


     


    plus,  governor christie would give away the state if nj ever took them up on an offer.


    his name would lead the ballot for the 2016 presidential race.


     


    and if that didn't sweeten the pot enough,  than people running away from calif would race past tx


    to get to nyc & nj where the light bulb would get turned on again.

  • Reply 10 of 77
    This is precisely why we can't bring jobs back to the US.
    With all the anti -business practices, and out of control spending, we will become the next Greece.
  • Reply 11 of 77
    hodarhodar Posts: 261member


    You are missing a few rather key points that is rather attractive to Austin.  Austin is the Silicon Valley of the West.  Texas Instruments, Intel, Freescale, Samsung, Micron among others call Austin home.  This means, that new components are just a short car ride from Apple's labs.  Technical support from the chip designers is just a face-to-face meeting without the need for huge amounts of notice, no hotels, time changes, airline trips.  Literally, a 30 minute drive away.


     


    Now, throw in University of Texas at Austin, Austin Community College, St. Edwards, Concordia, Huston Tilotson, ITT Technical Institute, plus the colleges in the immediate area like Georgetown and Southwest Tecnical Institute - there is a plethora of talent coming out of these universities, plus established talent from the major companies in both software and hardware based companies.


     


    Add to that the intrinsic benefits of Texas (no state income tax, pleasant weather, major cities of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas/Ft. Worth are only a couple hours drive away.  Hiking, biking, camping, fishing - all within the immediate area.


     


    This makes Austin pretty attracive, despite some idiots in local goverment.

  • Reply 11 of 77
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member


    Many other county governments won't put up roadblocks to the creation of 3600 local jobs. Apple should bring their business elsewhere.

     

  • Reply 13 of 77


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post


    apple doesn't need my advice but none the less,  they should tell the


    money grubbing austin tx politicians that they can shove austin.


     


    that $300+ million would receive a warm welcome in more cities than can be


    counted.  they are in north carolina now.  what about south carolina.  they


    would be welcome with open arms.



     


    Skilled workers. South Carolina doesn't have enough of them.


     


    South Carolina was 50th on a recent ALEC report card on education.  Only West Virginia scored lower (#51).  

  • Reply 14 of 77


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


     


     


     


    Did you really just dis the entire state of South Carolina?


     


     



     


    He was rather inartful about it but the fact is that SC wouldn't provide a sufficient workforce for those kinds of jobs.  Don't blame the messenger.   

  • Reply 15 of 77
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,406member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post



    This is precisely why we can't bring jobs back to the US.

    With all the anti -business practices, and out of control spending, we will become the next Greece.


     


    I completely agree with this. Politicians should be rewarded for bringing jobs into the US, not punishing those who want to.

  • Reply 16 of 77
    soonlarsoonlar Posts: 13member


    Come on over to the Twin Cities, we will welcome you with open arms, however might be higher taxes.  But we have a highly skilled work force that houses many high tech companies (3M, Honeywell, Target, General Mills, Ameriprise, United Health, Bestbuy, Xcel Energy, etc)


    http://ww3.startribune.com/projects/st100/

  • Reply 17 of 77


    I live in Austin.  Our politicians would be fools to screw this deal up.  I think the voters would be quite displeased if that happens.

  • Reply 18 of 77


    Shame on Apple for needing a grant to build a facility it needs.  Corporate welfare :(

  • Reply 19 of 77
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post


    Shame on Apple for needing a grant to build a facility it needs.  Corporate welfare :(



     


    Apple doesn't need a grant to build a facility.



    Rather, they have the ability to build the facility in a number of locations and are obviously looking for the best deal. If you were an Apple shareholder, you'd expect that.

  • Reply 20 of 77
    psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 458member
    Most of you are ragging on the City of Austin as screwing up this deal. But it is not the City that is the problem. It is Travis County. Most likely the County wants its palms greased a little bit more.
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