First look at the site of Apple's $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2018
Apple on Thursday revealed plans to build a second, $1 billion campus in Austin, spanning 133 acres and housing 5,000 workers. AppleInsider took a look at the site as it exists today, and gives you a brief primer on the area.

Austin Campus 2


The planned build site is at the corner of Dallas Drive and West Parmer Lane, roughly a mile away from Apple's current Austin campus, also on Parmer. Parmer is a major thoroughfare in the city -- while traffic was relatively light when AppleInsider visited on Thursday morning, the road is often choked with traffic during rush hour in part because of Apple's existing campus, which employs thousands of people for operations work and AppleCare among other things.

The Dallas/Parmer intersection. The main entrance will actually be slightly further east on Parmer.
The Dallas/Parmer intersection. The main entrance will actually be slightly further east on Parmer.


The immediate area is surrounded mostly by suburbs. Some points of interest though are the offices of game developer BioWare Austin, McNeil High School, and Austin White Lime Co., which signs identify as the campus plot's current landlord.

Austin Campus 2


A number of tech businesses have offices in north Austin, such as Google, Qualcomm, Samsung, and National Instruments. Dell's global headquarters is less than 15 minutes away in the suburb of Round Rock.

Apple's planned space shows little to no development so far. It's covered mostly by brush, trees, and cacti, with dirt and gravel roads tracing through some sections. We did see signs that a gas line was being installed.

Austin Campus 2


Austin Campus 2


Perhaps more interestingly, we spotted a pair of people with an unmarked white SUV parked in front of the future main entrance, preparing to fly a drone. This wasn't a consumer model -- rather it was a DJI Inspire 2, which can shoot 6K video and has a top speed of 58 miles per hour.

The unidentified drone crew.
The unidentified drone crew.


When it's full and complete the new campus may push Apple's Austin workforce as high as 15,000 people, which would make it the biggest private employer in Austin proper, despite companies like Amazon's Whole Foods being headquartered there. Some of the 5,000 new jobs will be in engineering and R&D, which could make Austin a source of next-generation products.

An official Apple site plan.
An official Apple site plan.


AppleInsider will be returning to the site regularly, to update you on the state of construction and progress of the build.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 251member
    Thanks, nice to see such an early impression of the site!
    cornchipsteveau
  • Reply 2 of 24
    Looks like Apple is building additional leverage against Cali tax madness. Good. Nice to see them doing that. I am pretty sure Amazon has reconsidered its investment plans in Oregon, as well.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    No interview with the tumbleweeds?
    dewmecornchiprandominternetpersonRayz2016
  • Reply 4 of 24
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,879administrator
    No interview with the tumbleweeds?
    When asked for comment, the tumbleweeds refused our inquiries. Sources familiar with the matter not directly affiliated with the tumbleweeds are glad to see them go.

    :D
    macseekerJFC_PAronncornchiphexclockSpamSandwichStrangeDaysbestkeptsecretRayz2016steveau
  • Reply 5 of 24
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 257member
    No interview with the tumbleweeds?
    When asked for comment, the tumbleweeds refused our inquiries. Sources familiar with the matter not directly affiliated with the tumbleweeds are glad to see them go.

    :D
    Iirc they’re foreigners so maybe they simply didn’t understand your inquiry? Did you try addressing them in Russian? Native languages are always appreciated. 
    jony0
  • Reply 6 of 24
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,378member
    I still don't understand just what all these employees actually do.   For the size of the product line and the pace of new releases, it doesn't seem like Apple should need the number of employees that it has, unless they're planning an entirely new line of businesses that we don't yet know about.

    The other strange thing is that for all the employees, when we hear reports about specific development teams, those teams tend to be relatively small.   Or, we hear about people being moved from one team to another, as if Apple doesn't have enough employees.   None of this makes sense to me. 




  • Reply 7 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    zoetmb said:
    I still don't understand just what all these employees actually do.   For the size of the product line and the pace of new releases, it doesn't seem like Apple should need the number of employees that it has, unless they're planning an entirely new line of businesses that we don't yet know about.

    The other strange thing is that for all the employees, when we hear reports about specific development teams, those teams tend to be relatively small.   Or, we hear about people being moved from one team to another, as if Apple doesn't have enough employees.   None of this makes sense to me. 




    Your entire problem is that you believe the rubbish that is published about Apple on a daily basis.
    edited December 2018 radarthekatStrangeDaysjahblade
  • Reply 8 of 24
    zoetmb said:
    I still don't understand just what all these employees actually do.   For the size of the product line and the pace of new releases, it doesn't seem like Apple should need the number of employees that it has, unless they're planning an entirely new line of businesses that we don't yet know about.

    The other strange thing is that for all the employees, when we hear reports about specific development teams, those teams tend to be relatively small.   Or, we hear about people being moved from one team to another, as if Apple doesn't have enough employees.   None of this makes sense to me. 
    mostly R&D, I suppose. Software development takes a lot of time (unless it is a small app with 1.5 buttons and 1.3 text fields). Also, I am pretty sure you have very little idea of the size of the code base Apple has. Testing and changing that, and testing again takes time, even if you use so called agile pipelines... Name one company that releases similar products of similar levels of complexity, while employing a fraction of what Apple has. 
    edited December 2018 cornchipradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 24
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,153member
    lkrupp said:
    zoetmb said:
    I still don't understand just what all these employees actually do.   For the size of the product line and the pace of new releases, it doesn't seem like Apple should need the number of employees that it has, unless they're planning an entirely new line of businesses that we don't yet know about.

    The other strange thing is that for all the employees, when we hear reports about specific development teams, those teams tend to be relatively small.   Or, we hear about people being moved from one team to another, as if Apple doesn't have enough employees.   None of this makes sense to me. 




    Your entire problem is that you believe the rubbish that is published about Apple on a daily basis.
    Another thing to consider is that when you see Apple employee numbers, it usually includes retail which as I understand, far outweighs actual design, engineering & management in Cupertino. When these hard numbers are compared to the likes of Google, Microsoft, Samsung etc. they look similar, but in reality the number of people working on hardware & software is vastly smaller. AFAIK a pretty good portion of the  workforce in Austin is customer service. 

    Yet people always wonder why apple moves so slowly. Relatively, they’re a considerably smaller company. And I seriously doubt this place will be packed the week after the doors open. I would imagine Apple is building for future growth up to a decade out.
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 10 of 24
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,898moderator
    JFC_PA said:
    No interview with the tumbleweeds?
    When asked for comment, the tumbleweeds refused our inquiries. Sources familiar with the matter not directly affiliated with the tumbleweeds are glad to see them go.

    :D
    Iirc they’re foreigners so maybe they simply didn’t understand your inquiry? Did you try addressing them in Russian? Native languages are always appreciated. 
    Migrants, to be precise.  They’ll be moving on prior to construction. It’s their nature.  
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 24
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,898moderator

    zoetmb said:
    I still don't understand just what all these employees actually do.   For the size of the product line and the pace of new releases, it doesn't seem like Apple should need the number of employees that it has, unless they're planning an entirely new line of businesses that we don't yet know about.

    The other strange thing is that for all the employees, when we hear reports about specific development teams, those teams tend to be relatively small.   Or, we hear about people being moved from one team to another, as if Apple doesn't have enough employees.   None of this makes sense to me. 
    Just in engineering roles, in addition to the obvious work of designing existing Apple products, which requires a good number of engineers, Apple also is engaged in

    the design and development of specialized factory equipment and processes used to create those products,

    the design and development of a growing number of chips and SIPs used in those products, 

    basic materials research to create specialized materials used in those products,

    the support of a growing (already exceeding billion) user base engaged with those products,

    QA and QC efforts associated with those products.

    Then there’s the design of Apple’s facilities, stores, data centers, website,

    engineers supporting Apple’s product partners, like IBM et al,

    engineers supporting telecom partners, like AT&T, Verizon and 350 more around the world,

    engineers supporting Apple’s salesforce,

    health future product R&D initiatives,

    transportation future product R&D initiatives,

    AR future product R&D initiatives,

    digital content future services R&D initiatives,

    ongoing development and support of the App Store,

    ongoing development of MacOS, iOS, TVOS, WatchOS, CarPlay, ApplePay, Apple Music, the suite of apps included with Apple hardware products, 

    cross-team development initiatives to share features and capabilities among Apple products, like continuity, iPhone/Watch integration, HomeKit, HealthKit, etc,

    patent review, defense, and development initiatives,

    participation with standards bodies to assist in the definition and advancement of engineering standards of interest to Apple; WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, etc,

    social and environmental initiatives,

    marketing big-data development initiatives,

    machine learning R&D,

    software development tools (Swift, Metal, etc) R&D,

    Apple’s Today At Apple course development,

    engineers supporting Apple in education,

    cloud services R&D,

    and a fairly large number of IT staff to support local networks in each facility, support users and keep the internal Apple machine running smoothly. 

    Have I left anyone out?  

    The list truly does go on, doesn’t it?  It’s not a matter of just current products versus future products, there’s a lot of richness and detail to creating and advancing a $220 billion+ revenue beast. 
    edited December 2018 StrangeDaysroundaboutnowcornchiprandominternetpersonRayz2016
  • Reply 12 of 24
    Looks like Apple is building additional leverage against Cali tax madness. Good. Nice to see them doing that. I am pretty sure Amazon has reconsidered its investment plans in Oregon, as well.
    Is it the tax, or is it the real estate rises due to available tech salaries and its spending power? Hard to blame the state for the actions of the private market, right?
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 13 of 24
    zoetmb said:
    I still don't understand just what all these employees actually do.   For the size of the product line and the pace of new releases, it doesn't seem like Apple should need the number of employees that it has, unless they're planning an entirely new line of businesses that we don't yet know about.

    The other strange thing is that for all the employees, when we hear reports about specific development teams, those teams tend to be relatively small.   Or, we hear about people being moved from one team to another, as if Apple doesn't have enough employees.   None of this makes sense to me. 
    I’m an enterprise software developer. Go to their employment site and select the software developement category and review the hundreds of listings. They’ll give you an idea of the many, many projects that any normal corp has going on in the background. Software runs the world, and it’s not limited to what’s on your phone. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 14 of 24
    What is that, a ranch?
  • Reply 15 of 24
    What is that, a ranch?
    Looks like an undeveloped lot to me.

    Perhaps the guys with the uberdrone can tell us more.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    Time for the drones to watch over the development.
  • Reply 17 of 24


    Austin Campus 2



    See, now this should be the sign on every AI thread!!
  • Reply 18 of 24
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,638member
    One, we don't have tumbleweeds in Austin. That is more of a West Texas thing.
    And B, take a look at Apple's job listings for Austin (you can set a filter). You'll see that some are customer service, or software engineering, but a lot of them are hardware engineering. I think most of the jobs in engineering outside of Cupertino are of a more mundane nature. It's the unglorified, nuts and bolts work that ultimately results in the functioning product envisioned and created by the upper tier engineers in California.  In Apple world, all workers outside of the mothership are considered B Team one way or another.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Something I found funny - the buildings just North of that site, where EA and Paypal are, used to be the old Motorola Parmer Lane facility.

    It was originally built for Apple, but Apple decided not to move in, and Motorola leased it instead.

    Look at 7700 Parmer in Google Maps:
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/7700+West+Parmer+Lane,+Building+B/@30.4570575,-97.7526385,2614m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x8644cd0d3a04b17f:0x19c3f8615ca98856!8m2!3d30.4583883!4d-97.7507023
  • Reply 20 of 24
    zoetmb said:
    I still don't understand just what all these employees actually do.   For the size of the product line and the pace of new releases, it doesn't seem like Apple should need the number of employees that it has, unless they're planning an entirely new line of businesses that we don't yet know about.

    The other strange thing is that for all the employees, when we hear reports about specific development teams, those teams tend to be relatively small.   Or, we hear about people being moved from one team to another, as if Apple doesn't have enough employees.   None of this makes sense to me. 
    I’m an enterprise software developer. Go to their employment site and select the software developement category and review the hundreds of listings. They’ll give you an idea of the many, many projects that any normal corp has going on in the background. Software runs the world, and it’s not limited to what’s on your phone. 
    The team responsible for the cameras in Apple products has over 800 people, at least according to an Apple promo video. Also read somewhere that Apple Maps has over 7,000 employees (and that is a smaller workforce than Google Maps).
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