Austin: Hotel Proposed for Apple’s $1 Billion Campus
Featured Illustration (above): Conceptual rendering for the new Apple office campus that is under development on West Parmer Lane (top right corner). A hotel and conference center (not seen here) was recently introduced into campus plans, and will be located close to Parmer. Image: Apple
By Edmond Ortiz Austin (Williamson County)--As pre-site work on the $1 billion Apple Inc. campus continues, the tech giant now looks to build a 192-room, 75,500-square-foot hotel on the sprawling North Side site.
Documents filed with the city’s Development Services Department show the six-story hotel will include a three-story conference center and a variety of amenities. The hotel and conference center will be dedicated for use by Apple employees and contractors.
The hotel and conference center is a new element in Apple’s plan to build 12 office buildings on an undeveloped 126-acre tract at 6800 W. Parmer Lane, close to McNeil High School. No other Apple production or corporate campuses have hotels on site.
Apple’s new business park will be located on a 126-acre undeveloped North Side tract near McNeil High School. Apple’s current operations center is shown here along Riata vista Circle. Image: City of Austin
Aside from the hotel and planned 2-million-plus square feet of new office space, phased construction for the entire Austin campus will include a visitor’s and amenity building, day care center, above-ground and underground parking structures, food preparation space, landscaping, central utility plant, and site improvements, such as utilities, internal roads and drainage.
Dallas Drive, a west-east road that currently ends in a T-shaped intersection across West Parmer, will be extended into the Apple campus as a main entry street. That intersection will be improved. Plans also call for deceleration and turn lanes off West Parmer.
According to reports, Kansas City, Missouri-based JE Dunn Construction is the general contractor for campus construction.
However, as per Apple’s practices, non-disclosure agreements between the tech company and general construction contractors prevent contractors from publicizing their project.
It is presently not clear whether JE Dunn will be the hotel construction contractor. A hotel brand operator has not yet been announced.
But planning documents do show Austin’s Generational Commercial Properties as the local representative for Apple and developer of the property, which was once part of the 7,000-acre Robinson family ranch.
Regarding the overall campus site plan, Garza EMC is the civil engineer, Studio 8 Architects is the lead designer, and Nudge Design is the landscape architect.
Austin firm Cardno is the structural engineer, and Bay & Associates is the Mechanical Engineering Plumbing (MEP) engineer.
According to project documents, Apple will provide more than 9,000 parking spaces, but some offsite parking for the new campus will be made available at Apple’s current Americas Operations Center at 12545 Riata Vista Circle, a short distance south of the campus.
Shuttles will ferry employees in between the campus and offsite parking site.
Preliminary site plan for the Apple North Side campus. Image: Garza EMC
The Apple campus is anticipated to open in late 2021 or early 2022 and, over time, include 5,000 to 15,000 employees.
VBX members may track the hotel project using ID number: 2020-3F03.
Apple’s expansion in Austin is part of the company’s nationwide growth plan to increase its investment in manufacturing, engineering and other jobs across the United States.
Apple currently is on track to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy between 2018 and 2023, and hire an additional 20,000 employees in U.S. cities over those five years.
Apple currently runs the Americas Operations Center on Riata Vista Circle, a short distance south of the planned West Parmer Lane campus. Offsite employee parking will be located here. Image: Google Streets
When Apple first announced its plans for the Austin campus in 2019, company officials praised the city for its reputation as a community filled with technology talent. The latest generation of Apple’s Mac Pro desktop is produced in the Flextronics America plant on Research Boulevard on the Northwest Side.
“Building the Mac Pro, Apple’s most powerful device ever, in Austin is both a point of pride and a testament to the enduring power of American ingenuity,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a previous company news release.
“With the construction of our new campus in Austin now underway, Apple is deepening our close bond with the city and the talented and diverse workforce that calls it home. Responsible for 2.4 million American jobs and counting, Apple is eager to write our next chapter here and to keep contributing to America’s innovation story.”
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.