Apple chooses Austin over NoVa

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While Amazon establishes a powerful new presence on the East Coast with its HQ2 installations in Arlington and New York City, Apple is hunkering down in the West.

Apple announced yesterday that it will build a $1 billion campus in North Austin, Texas. It had looked at sites in Northern Virginia, including the Center for Innovative Technology campus on the Fairfax-Loudoun county line and also, it is thought, at various Tysons-area sites.

The company’s not saying why it picked Austin but analysts say that with Amazon planning to hire 50,000 technology-savvy employees in NYC and NoVa, Apple may have feared that the supply of skilled labor would become depleted, or at least prohibitively expensive.

Besides Austin, Apple will be adding smaller offices in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City as well as expanding existing operations in New York, Pittsburgh and Boulder.

“Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a news release. “Talent, creativity and tomorrow’s breakthrough ideas aren’t limited by region or zip code, and, with this new expansion, we’re redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide.”

The company now employs about 90,000 in all 50 states and will be adding 20,000 more by 2023, Cook said.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.