Apple building an Austin campus that will be its second-largest operation in the world

Associated Press

Apple Inc. is quietly building a home away from home.

The tech giant is transforming a 38-acre wooded lot into its largest global operation outside of Silicon Valley, the Austin American-Statesman reported (http://atxne.ws/1O6Crzc ).

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In line to receive $35 million in tax incentives from the city, county and state for its Austin expansion, Apple has pledged to create 3,600 new jobs while retaining at least 3,100 existing jobs.

If Apple reaches those hiring figures, it would make it the second-largest technology employer in Central Texas behind Dell Inc., which has about 14,000 local workers.

The company also agreed to spend $282 million on new buildings and equipment in Austin over the next decade.

When Apple completes its Austin campus next year, it will boast 1.1 million square feet of space including restaurants, a gym and a wellness center.

Apple's new campus is responsible for running the company's business operations for the Western Hemisphere.

"It will help create a new wave of talent," Mark McClain, CEO of Austin software maker SailPoint and chairman of the Austin Technology Council, told the newspaper. "Some people will come to work for Apple and get the entrepreneurial bug and go start a company. Others will eventually leave to join local tech companies that need their expertise."

Denise Young Smith, Apple's head of human resources, said the company was drawn not only by Austin's talent pool but also because of its cultural diversity.

"Austin has always been a voice and proponent of diversity and inclusiveness," Young Smith said. "And there is also diversity in terms of talent, including the music and artistic community. We like that cross-pollination, and the job candidates that have been able to hire because of it."

Despite stock market uncertainty because of an economic slowdown in China, Apple is still growing. The company reported a jump in profits during the third quarter as demand for iPhones soared.