The heart of the Lone Star state is looking like a real tech hub, as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Juul make plans to expand.
Austin’s population increased 23 percent from 2010 to 2017, growing faster than any other U.S. metropolitan region, and far outpacing the national rate of 5 percent, according to data from research firm Statista. It’s slated to expand the size of the downtown area by half, based on projects under construction or planned, according to Austin’s economic development department. As a result, the city is becoming less affordable and driving longtime residents out. In other words, it’s starting to look more like the Valley in less desirable ways, too.
One draw for businesses is the local tax incentive program, which takes into account job creation and environmental impact. The technology industry is one of the biggest drivers of growth. And the city isn’t over-reliant on one employer—unlike, say, Arlington, Virginia, which Amazon.com Inc. plans to call its second home. In the past few years, Amazon, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google have established large Austin outposts, and each recently signaled plans to expand there.