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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