Apple breaks ground on $1 billion, 3 million-square-foot campus in Northwest Austin; expects to open facility in 2022

Apple's Mac Pro computers are assembled at a manufacturing plant in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Apple)
Apple's Mac Pro computers are assembled at a manufacturing plant in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Apple)

Apple's Mac Pro computers are assembled at a manufacturing plant in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Apple)

Image description
Apple plans to build a 3 million-square-foot campus with 12 buildings on Parmer Lane. (Rendering courtesy Apple)
Image description
Image description
Image description
Hours before President Donald Trump is expected to tour the facility that manufactures Apple’s Mac Pro computers in Northwest Austin, the technology company announced Nov. 20 it broke ground on its newest campus.

In December 2018, Apple unveiled it would build a second Austin campus at 6900 W. Parmer Lane in the Williamson County portion of Northwest Austin and hire 5,000 new employees for a total investment of $1 billion. In the year since, the company secured its site plan permit and completed its traffic impact analysis.

Although Apple plans to initially hire 5,000 new employees—in addition to the 7,000 who already work in Austin—the new campus has the capacity to house 15,000 employees.

“Apple coming to Williamson County is amazing, and I think what has been shared thus far paints a beginning portrait of the relationship that we will have for years with Apple,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

The site of the new campus, on 133 acres in the Robinson Ranch property, includes thousands of trees, the news release states.


"As part of its commitment to respecting the historical and geographical significance of the area, Apple is partnering with Austin-based Bartlett Tree Experts to preserve and increase the diversity of native trees on the 133-acre property,” the news release states.

In September, Apple also announced it will continue manufacturing the Mac Pro computers in Northwest Austin where the computers have been made since 2013. Apple reported in a news release that it and its manufacturing partners invested more than $200 million in the 244,000-square-foot Mac Pro facility for a complex assembly line. The company reports the first shipment of those new computers will head out in December.

“Building the Mac Pro, Apple’s most powerful device ever, in Austin is both a point of pride and a testament to the enduring power of American ingenuity,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a news release. “With the construction of our new campus in Austin now underway, Apple is deepening our close bond with the city and the talented and diverse workforce that calls it home.”

Preparing for traffic

Earlier in 2019, Apple completed its traffic impact analysis, which the Austin Transportation Department requires for developments that would generate more than 2,000 new trips per day.

The report indicates the site would generate more than 24,000 new trips per day and have four new driveways for vehicle access. Transportation department staffers are also requiring that Apple add $632,500 worth of transportation upgrades to accommodate the new trips. These improvements include adding new lanes for vehicles turning in and out of the campus as well as modifying the signal at Dallas Drive.

As part of its long-range planning, Williamson County has proposed additional roads through the Robinson Ranch property where Apple will build the campus.

“I would say to anyone that’s concerned [about traffic]: Look at what Williamson County has done in the past,” Gravell said. “We’ve been one of the forward-leading counties in America for traffic and traffic patterns and making sure we are ahead of the growth and ahead of the curve.”

He said the county is considering new roads near the campus, and Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long, who sits on the policy board for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, would take the lead on road planning.

“Not only are we going to address the issue in Williamson County, but we are going to address it regionally,” Gravell said.

Capital Metro has also proposed to expand its MetroRapid bus service on Parmer Lane as part of the Project Connect regional transit plan. Officials said they do not have short-term plans to add a MetroRail station or realign the commuter rail line.

Additional reporting by Ali Linan.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Amy Denney

Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area.


MOST RECENT

Groove to the beat with a Zumba class hosted by Pflugerville Parks and Recreation Department. Typically hosted in-person, the class will be live-streamed this week. (Photo courtesy Pflugerville Parks and Recreation)
VIRTUAL TO-DO LIST: 6 Round Rock-Pflugerville area activities you can stream from home this week starting March 30

With stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders in effect in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, local libraries and parks and recreation departments are leveraging technology to offer free workouts, book discussions, painting classes and more this week.

San Marcos CISD board members vote to postpone May elections

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, San Marcos CISD board of trustees voted March 27 to postpone board elections until November.

Capital Metro station
All Capital Metro fares will be free throughout April

Beginning April 1, riders will not have to pay Capital Metro operators or use the farebox.

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Goodwin, center, and Council Member Jon Cobb, left, resigned their posts during a March 28 City Council meeting. Council Member Kara King, right, is now mayor elect of Bee Cave. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bee Cave Mayor Bill Goodwin and Council Member Jon Cobb resign during special meeting

A special called meeting that initially appeared focused on the removal of a key Bee Cave official due to perceived missteps and lackluster response to crisis ended in the abrupt resignation of both the mayor and a council member.

The first death from coronavirus was reported in Williamson County Saturday morning. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County reports first death related to coronavirus

First death attributed to coronavirus in Williamson County was a male in his 70s.

Pflugerville ISD will expand its curbside free meal pickup program and serve dinner for district families. (Courtesy Adobe Stock Images)
Pflugerville ISD expands free meal program, now offers dinner for curbside pickup

Pflugerville ISD will expand its curbside free meal pickup program and serve dinner for district families.

A faculty member at Texas State University tested positive for coronavirus, university officials announced March 27. (Community Impact Staff)
Faculty member at Texas State University tests positive for coronavirus; bank employee tested for possible case

University officials at Texas State sent out a notice to faculty, staff and students announcing that a faulty member who was at the San Marcos campus March 9 and March 11 has since tested positive for the coronavirus.

Easy Tiger is looking to bake 10,000 loaves of bread for those in need locally over the next 60 days. (Courtesy Easy Tiger)
From Easy Tiger baking 10,000 loaves of bread to Austin’s Couch Potatoes making masks: Here’s how local businesses are chipping in to help their communities

In addition to staying open for delivery and take-out, some restaurants are providing community meals to service industry workers and others in need.

Turnstile Coffee Beer and Spirits
Will they or won’t they? Austin restaurants split on when to open during coronavirus pandemic

While some restaurants have bunkered down to open at later dates, some Austin restaurants are moving forward with service.

Comal County has issued guidance to combat the spread of coronavirus (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Stay-at-home guidance issued by Comal County after community spread coronavirus case confirmed

The measure lags behind other Texas counties. Enforcement is still voluntary and without penalties.

The Lake Travis ISD board of trustees met virtually March 25 for its regular board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Vail Divide progress, drug testing updates, COVID-19 news, and more from Lake Travis ISD’s first digital meeting March 25

All district facilities are closed until April 13 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, however, the meeting’s agenda included a variety of subjects from a drug testing program to construction progress.

The district delivered iPads to Dell Seton Medical Center March 27. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)
Eanes ISD donates 70 iPads to Dell Seton Medical Center

The district quickly gathered 70 previously retired iPads to aid those working during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Back to top