updated 07:56 pm EDT, Mon April 22, 2013
First office building nearly complete, part of first phase
Photos revealed on AppleInsider have shown that construction on the first phase of Apple's new Austin, Texas expansion campus is progressing smoothly. From outward appearances, the first of two planned office buildings and a parking garage in the first phase of the construction are already well along, with the former already having been painted hand having had its glass windows installed. When the first phase is complete in 2015, the project will double Apple's present Austin workforce to over 7,000 workers.
The new buildings (seen below) are just a part of a larger, 10-year plan for expansion in Austin. While the first phase of the operation will add some 3,600 new jobs and 200,000 square feet of office space at a cost of $56 million, phase two will add another 800,000 square feet and thousands more high-paying jobs to the area. The entire project, expected to be completed in 2012, will cost the company around $300 million in total.
The project expands on the administrative, engineering, chip design and call center work of the present Austin campus, transforming it into Apple's "Americas Operation Center," overseeing North, Central and South America operations including support, logistics, manufacturing and distribution across the two continents. The facility is also expected to house some of Apple's in-house processor design or engineering teams as it presently does. The new buildings are directly across from the existing campus.
Under a plan worked out with local and state authorities, salaries for the positions will average $35,000 per year for the bottom 10 percent of workers (such as custodial and maintenance staff) and a minimum $11 per hour for contractors. Job listings have already started appearing in local newspapers, including one for a "Brazil subject matter expert" for the company's finance department. The campus is expected to generate around $15 million annually in benefits to the local area for at least the next 15 years.
Given the pace of construction and Apple's urgent need for more office space to handle its growing staff, it is possible that the Austin center's first phase will be completed before the expected 2015 timeframe, and that some existing operations personnel from other areas could be moved there as early as next year. Apple has been leasing large amounts of office space in and around the Cupertino area along with nearby towns to accommodate workers as it begins construction on its new main company HQ not far from the present headquarters, the opening of which has been pushed back to 2016.