A longtime lure of Austin, which once promoted itself as the Silicon Hills, has been its low cost of living compared with San Francisco and New York, as well as its lack of a state income tax.
The metro-area population of 2.1 million residents is younger and better educated than the rest of Texas and the U.S. It hosts music festivals throughout the year and has a surfeit of high-end restaurants. That has made it attractive to the type of younger workers companies want to hire. Austin was a dark horse in the quest to land Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.
Google and Facebook Inc. also have opened large offices in Texas’ capital city. The area is home to Dell Technologies Inc., while chip giant NXP Semiconductors NV has a major presence there after buying Freescale Semiconductor in 2015. Many videogame companies have studios around town.
Texas has more representation in Washington than other states Apple considered, potentially giving Apple more clout on Capitol Hill at a time when tech companies face increasing scrutiny over issues such as digital privacy and antitrust, said John Boyd, principal at the Boyd Co., a site-selection firm.
My take: The governor’s $25 million pledge and the county’s 65% annual tax break didn’t hurt, either.
UPDATE: Here’s Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman on the news…
Apple went back on its word, from a new location—a major new campus—and basically put out an announcement regurgitating expansions that we already knew about in San Diego, Seattle and the L.A. area plus an expansion of an existing campus in Austin Texas.
Cue the video: