Tech giant Apple announced Thursday that it plans a massive expansion of its facilities in Austin, a move that it says will include an investment of $1 billion and will initially add around 5,000 jobs.
The company said the expansion will make it the largest employer in Austin, and that its newest campus — located less than a mile from existing Austin facilities — will have the capacity to expand to around 15,000 employees.
The middle-of-the-night announcement brought cheers from local and state government officials. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, called the move "a testament to the high-quality workforce and unmatched economic environment that Texas offers."
"I thank Apple for this tremendous investment in Texas, and I look forward to building upon our strong partnership to create an even brighter future for the Lone Star State," he said.
Outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican, also praised the expansion, saying it "shows that a business-friendly state not only offers low taxes and competitive incentives, but is also welcoming to all workers. We need to maintain this inclusive, comprehensive approach to economic development."
Apple's announcement didn't include details about what kind of financial incentives it'll receive from the government. But the Austin American-Statesman reported that the company is in line to receive as much as $25 million from the Abbott-controlled Texas Enterprise Fund. The paper also reported that the city of Austin won't be chipping in any incentives, although the company is seeking tax breaks from Williamson County, which includes the small portion of North Austin where the expansion will happen. No dollar amounts for those incentives have been reported.
"We are both committed to continued job creation and outstanding quality of life," Williamson County Director of Administration Rebecca Clemons said in a press release.
Apple currently employs around 6,200 people in Austin.