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There's something special about Austin, Texas.
A simple, yet stunning southern city, Austin seems to be continually making headlines of late - particularly in the growing tech sector. Not only has Austin been the number one place to live in America for three years in a row, but it's also the fastest-growing large city in the US.
Recently, Austin Texas has appeared as number 4 on a list of the best large cities for entrepreneurs looking to launch a business, and it's also chosen as one of the most popular US cities for tourists to visit. Texas has even appeared in lists celebrating the best states for female entrepreneurs. That means that you can expect an equal opportunity chance of success here.
So, what is it that makes Austin so special?
Well, there are several things to consider, from the thriving music scene to the beautiful cultural experiences that Austin offers around every corner.
Additionally, Austin happens to be a hotbed for technology and innovation. Currently, there are so many tech brands in Austin, that it's starting to earn the title of "Silicon Hills."
Not so long ago, Apple announced that it would be launching a $1 billion campus with enough room for about 15,000 employees. This makes Apple one of the largest private employers set to thrive in Austin. Additionally, in the past couple of years, Google has been piling more investment into Austin on an almost consistent basis.
The growing presence of Google in Austin
So, why are huge brands like Google swarming into Austin?
Well for one thing, as Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, everything's bigger in Texas. Since Austin has long been the tech center of Texas, it makes sense that the biggest brands in the industry would swarm here for more opportunities to grow and thrive.
Currently, there are 6,5000 tech companies and startups in Austin, including names like Dell and Oracle. Additionally, the city of Austin is also home to the incredible South by Southwest event, which has transformed from a music gathering to one of the most innovative trendsetting tech festivals in the world.
In February 2019, Google announced it's most recent growth strategy for Austin, which included leasing all 35 floors of a new tower in the downtown region of the city. According to the Austin-American Statesman, the tower covers more than 800,000 square feet in total, with enough space to house about 5,000 people.
The new Google hub happens to be situated right next to the existing office that Google has in Austin, located at 500 W. 2nd street. As the investment into the office building continues, the new space in Austin could be one of the most expensive and significant office spaces in North America. However, we won't see the full completion of the tower until 2022.
The February announcement came just after Apple had already revealed their plans to build a billion-dollar campus in the city. Companies from all backgrounds are rushing to find their space in the Austin landscape.
The New Midlothian Data Center
It's not just office buildings that Google is bringing into Austin, Texas, either. According to recent announcements at the beginning of June this year, Google will also be opening a new data center in the Midlothian region. The latest data centre will also be accompanied by additional leases for downtime buildings in Austin too.
The first lease mentioned in the recent press releases is the 35-story sail-like tower called Block 185. The second lease is for 150,000 square feet within the Saltillo office building located in East Austin. In the Midlothian site alone, Google will be investing $600 million to develop the location. Experts predict that this will create thousands of full-time jobs for tech enthusiasts - not to mention all the temporary roles available for construction.
Construction for the block 185 building mentioned above has already begun, although Google doesn't anticipate that they'll be moving anyone into the new space until 2023. However, when the 35-floor building does open, Google could be on its way to becoming the biggest hiring company in Austin.
The cloud tech company already has more than 1,1000 employees in Austin today, and it plans to continue hiring more. According to Google, employees will already be moving into the Saltillo building as early as 2020.
When it comes to the potential of the Midlothian data center, just south of Dallas, the possibilities are endless. Google has confirmed that the center will host hardware and servers for billions of Google app, YouTube, and Gmail users around the world. Not only does this expand Google's redundancy and reliability, but it also means great things for the growth of Austin as a thriving tech hub.
Crucially, Google also announced that they would be doing their part to give something back to the Midlothian community when building their data center. Google will be providing a $100,000 grant to the Independent School District in the region, improving the location's STEM curriculum.
The Long-Standing Relationship between Google and Austin
Google has had a relationship with both Texas and Austin for quite some time.
The first Austin office officially opened in 2007, and the company has continued to invest in the city as other organizations have moved in and started to call Austin their home. Facebook is leading new construction projects, Oracle has built its presence in Texas, and countless new startups appear in the location every year.
According to the Public Policy and Community Development head for Google, Andrew Silverstri, the new announcement regarding Google's latest data center and offices is an insight into the growing relationship Google has with the area. Andrew noted that Google is thrilled to be growing its roots in Texas with expanding offices and environments. He also acknowledged that Texas has been aw crucial home from Google since 2007 - more than a decade ago.
Additionally, the Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler also commented on Google's expansion in a recent press release. As well as thanking Google for its investment into the STEM education space, and the workforce, Adler also noted that Austin appreciates its growing relationship with Google.
Going forward, if Google continues to treat Austin as the emerging tech capital that it seems to be growing into, then we could see endless new opportunities for data scientists, app administrators, developers, and other professionals in the workforce.
As digital transformation continues to play a part on all parts of the world, Google's growing presence in Austin could easily make the location the go-to environment for tech startups and innovators who want to find their footing in an already digital-friendly space.