Rackspace plan could add 500 Austin jobs

Oct 21, 2014
Austin American Statesman

San Antonio-based Web hosting company Rackspace is seeking state incentives for its new $32 million office expansion into the old Highland Mall – which the company says will create 500 jobs 






in Austin over the next decade






The company outlined the goals in filings with the Travis County Commissioner’s Court, which on Tuesday is scheduled to consider designating the project as an Enterprise Project under the 






state Enterprise Zone program






Such a designation would allow Rackspace to seek up $1.25 million in state sales tax rebates. It would not require any funds from Travis County






The company says it will create 500 new jobs over the next five to 10 years at an average wage of more than $88,000. They will include positions in software development and systems 






administration and 100 will be entry-level jobs. Currently the company employs more than 600 people in Travis County






Rackspace — a cloud management company — plans to open its offices in 185,000 square feet of space in Austin Community College’s Highland campus in late 2015, in a space that formerly 






housed Dillard’s women’s store






Founded in 1998, Rackspace operates nine data centers on four continents and has more than 5,000 employees worldwide. The company’s revenue topped $1.5 billion in 2013






Its first operation in Austin was a small office with eight salespeople that opened in 2006, but the company quickly began to hire tech support and programmers in Austin, as well






Rackspace’s current Austin office is off Interstate 35 near Rundberg Lane






As part of the expansion, Rackspace will enter a public-private partnership with ACC, which is expected to include paid internships for ACC students, as well as enhanced technology training 






and other educational benefits, while allowing Rackspace to benefit from proximity to the college






The 1.2-million-square-foot former Highland Mall was Austin’s first indoor mall, but it fell into decline amid population shifts and the departure of anchor stores to newer suburban 






shopping centers






ACC acquired the Highland Mall property, which sits on more than 80 acres, in phases during 2010, 2011 and 2012






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