Round Rock and Pflugerville officials tout benefits if Amazon’s HQ2 comes to Austin area

Round Rock and Pflugerville economic development officials agreed the second headquarters for Amazon coming to the region would have a positive impact on the Austin metro. An announcement is due in 2018 and more than 50 regions in North America are expected to apply this week.

At an Austin Chamber of Commerce event Thursday morning, an announcement was made that the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area would send a proposal to Amazon for its second headquarters, dubbed H2Q. Proposals have deadlines of Oct. 16-19.

Round Rock Chamber Vice President of Economic Development Ben White said the project includes 8.1 million square feet of office space, employs 50,000 people and has a capital investment of $5 billion.

“It’s a massive project and the staff has done a tremendous job,” White told Round Rock City Council members at a meeting last week. “The Austin Chamber has done a tremendous job working this as a regional effort.”

White, one of the key members of the economic development team made up of the Round Rock Chamber and the city of Round Rock, said Round Rock submitted three sites to be considered for H2Q.

“It’s out of our hands,” White said. “We will see how the chips fall down the road on this project.”

Mayor Craig Morgan agreed with White’s assessment.

“This city will do [its] due diligence on the project,” Morgan said. “We are a long way from what is going to happen, but as it moves forward, we will not treat it differently than any other economic development projects.”

In Pflugerville, where economic development is a partnership between the city and the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, the PCDC’s executive director, Amy Madison, said the project would affect every facet of the community.

“Depending on the location, it would have varying impacts on housing, transportation, taxes, growth of existing businesses and significantly increase competition for available workforce,” Madison said.

In a Moody's report late last week, the Austin-Round Rock MSA was the No. 1 choice for Amazon in a data-driven comparison of all regions in the United States with more than 1 million population. The other 64 cities after Austin-Round Rock are listed here.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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