Apple upstages Amazon in selecting new tech hub locations
One tech giant strung dozens of North American cities through a circus-like contest that led mayors and governors to desperately pitch their regions — and offer huge sums of public money — in hopes of landing a gleaming new corporate campus. The other swept in quietly before making its big move.
The outcome was largely the same: Amazon and Apple are running out of room in their West Coast hometowns and establishing a major foothold in a handful of U.S. cities already known as second-tier technology hubs.
But this week, at least, Apple may have won the prize for completing its search with the fewest hurt feelings.
Apple announced plans Thursday to build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, that will create at least 5,000 jobs ranging from engineers to call-center agents while adding more luster to a city that has already become a destination for tech startups and bigger companies.
The decision comes 11 months after Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed plans to open a major office outside California on the heels of a massive tax cut on overseas profits, which prompted the company to bring about $250 billion back to the U.S.
The company said it will also open offices in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California, each employing at least 1,000 workers over the next three years. Apple also pledged to add hundreds of jobs each in New York; Pittsburgh; Boston; Boulder, Colorado; and Portland, Oregon.
“They are just picking America’s most established superstar cities and tech hubs,” said Richard Florida, an urban development expert at the University of Toronto.