Northwest Austin has been home to tech giants for decades, but one roadway has stood out over the past few years as more and more global companies open campuses.
Parmer Lane, which connects Northwest and Northeast Austin, has attracted companies such as Apple, General Motors, 3M and Samsung. Adding a second Apple campus on the Robinson Ranch property off Parmer Lane only further solidifies the roadway’s presence in the Northwest Austin tech corridor.
“I think this is really important for Austin, for its mobility issues and for its housing issues,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler told Community Impact Newspaper on Dec. 13. “We need more than one downtown center. We need more activity centers in the city, and I think this kind of activity is how we move toward that. The Domain’s turning into one. Robinson Ranch needs to be one as well.”
A developing corridor
Apple isn’t the only company turning dirt along Parmer Lane.
Construction is also underway at a new office park that aims to tap into that tech hub called Parmer Austin, a 300-plus-acre parcel of land on Parmer Lane just east of I-35. Five years ago Los Angeles-based Karlin Real Estate Group bought the property with the intent on building flexible, quality and affordable office space.
Companies such as GM, The Home Depot and pharmaceutical company Allergan already occupy space at the office park, and in 2019, 3M will relocate its 800 employees from the Four Points campus near RM 620 and RM 2222 to the Parmer Austin office park.
Mark Emerick, senior vice president of real estate firm CBRE’s Austin office, which is handling the leasing at Parmer Austin, previously told Community Impact Newspaper in July many companies are interested in Parmer Lane.
“When you look at the park and see Home Depot, 3M, Allergan, GM and Dell across the street—four Fortune 500 companies—that’s making a statement,” he said.
Additional corporate office space could also be built adjacent to the future Apple campus at the 7700 Parmer campus, the former home of Freescale. The existing nearly 1 million-square-foot site is home to several tech companies, and in 2017, Austin City Council approved a proposal allowing for an additional 800,000 square feet of office space to be built.
Ancillary development, projects that have been built in response to the growth, along Parmer Lane has also increased in recent years, most notably with numerous apartment complexes adjacent to the Apple existing campus and near Samsung.
Of the city’s eight active Chapter 380 economic development agreements, which award companies tax incentives for their investments, three were awarded to companies off Parmer Lane and four others in Northwest Austin.
One of the largest new developments in recent years on Parmer Lane has been at the Samsung Austin Semiconductor, which opened in July 1997 at 12100 Samsung Blvd., Austin.
Over the years the company has invested more than $16 billion at the Austin semiconductor, completing its first expansion to add a second fabrication unit in 2007, investing $4 billion in 2012 to renovate the existing fabrication operations and investing another $1 billion in 2017 to support growing demands for chip products.
Samsung also is receiving tax reimbursements from the city of Austin in exchange for its $4 billion investment and creating 700 new jobs. So far the company has received $76.9 million in tax reimbursements in the deal that continues through 2025.
Apple was awarded an $8.6 million incentive deal to build its existing campus at 5501-5505 W. Parmer Lane, Austin, and create over 3,600 new jobs. The tech company received its first payment of $1.4 million in 2017.
Just north of Parmer Lane near the Parmer Austin campus, HID Global was also awarded a tax reimbursement deal in 2012. The secure identity solutions manufacturer opened its new world headquarters in 2014 and has received almost $250,000 in tax reimbursements to date.