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Apple Will Build $1 Billion Campus in Austin, Adding 5,000...

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Apple plans to build a 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas, that will cost $1 billion and employ 5,000 new workers, the company announced Thursday. The company says the move is expected to make it the largest private employer in Austin.

Apple already employs more people in that city, some 6,200 workers, than it does in any other city outside of its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The company now plans to add substantially to that figure.

Its current main site in Austin is an office park roughly 12 miles north of downtown. The new campus will also be in North Austin, less than a mile from the current facilities. And it will have room to grow to 15,000 workers, the company says.

"Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin," CEO Tim Cook, said in a news release about the plan.

The expansion comes six years after Apple signed a 10-year economic development contract in Texas, a move that put Austin at the front of the line for expansion, as member station KUT reported. That deal, which featured a 100 percent property tax rebate and other incentives, required Apple to invest more than $300 million to build a new campus.

Apple's ambitions in Austin took another step in 2013, when Cook confirmed rumors that the company was building its new Mac Pro computers in the city.

The new jobs in Austin will cover a broad swath of its business, Apple says, from engineering and research to business operations, sales and customer support. The employees will work on a large campus that the company says will include 50 acres of preserved open space.

Welcoming news of the expansion, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, "I thank Apple for this tremendous investment in Texas, and I look forward to building upon our strong partnership to create an even brighter future for the Lone Star State."

Apple, which employs 90,000 people in the U.S., says that over the next three years, it will also "establish new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City" and add hundreds of new jobs in cities from Pittsburgh, New York and Boston to Boulder, Colo., and Portland, Ore.

"Talent, creativity and tomorrow's breakthrough ideas aren't limited by region or ZIP code," Cook said, adding, "With this new expansion, we're redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide."

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