AT&T unveils plans for Austin innovation center

Jul 16, 2014
Austin American Statesman


AT&T has unveiled plans for its first-of-its-kind Center for Innovation in downtown Austin


The Dallas-based telecom giant on Tuesday said it will open the new multimillion-dollar facility in 15,000 square feet of downtown office space on Congress Avenue by 2015


AT&T said it intends for the center to help drive the company’s initiatives on technology, education and arts


The center will be housed at the historical McKean-Eilers building at 323 Congress Ave., where it will include public space for creative efforts as well as space for dozens of workers, the company told the American-Statesman on Tuesday


The center is the latest in a series of investments by AT&T in the Austin market


In December, AT&T rolled out its fast-growing U-Verse service with its “GigaPower” feature, which offers speeds of up to 300 megabits per second. This year, it plans to increase those speeds to 1 gigabit per second and double the reach of its Austin-area fiber network - already available to thousands of homes - after an “incredible response” to the December rollout, said Tracy King, AT&T’s vice president of public affairs


The new innovation center could help raise the brand’s profile in Austin


The center will be split into two floors, with the building’s first floor dedicated to an open creative space where artists and entrepreneurs can meet and mingle while up-and-coming local singers can perform. The studio will allow for the creation of unique content that could be distributed through AT&T’s platforms on TV, online or mobile devices


AT&T leased the office space last month and hired a local architectural firm to help design the space


The center will retain its building’s historical details while also featuring graffiti work by a local artist and high-tech features


The first floor open space will showcase a 25-foot line of interactive TVs, booths with wireless monitors for presentations and meetings, a full kitchen and a circuit-board detailed concrete floor that will guide visitors around the space. AT&T will also house 50 workers on the third floor, and that team will be comprised of a mix of new hires and existing workers, King said


AT&T will share the building’s space with software and development firm Chaotic Moon Studios, located on the building’s second floor


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