In a move that will no doubt shock many in the industry, global ecommerce giant Amazon will announce Austin, TX to be home of their new headquarters (HQ2) by the end of the year.
The development will span several years and place the multi-billion-dollar campus on Austin’s near-east side next to Oracle’s new campus. The area was originally designated for a mixed-use sub-city under the name Project Catalyst, but in conjunction with the city of Austin and those developers, that site will be used for the vast Amazon complex.
The move will surprise many because, while Texas has the premiere tax and legal structure for the business, property taxes are some of the highest in the country, especially in Austin and surrounding Travis County. The deal will be predicated on a tax break for the company in exchange for the completion of the City of Austin’s light rail extension from the convention center to the airport.
Once the company completes the light rail project, necessary for its business functions alone, Amazon will enjoy a prime (pun intended) location and a mitigated tax structure.
This will also bring Amazon close to the global headquarters of one of its latest acquisitions, Whole Foods: