Experts weigh in on Apple's plan to build $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas as part of US expansion

AUSTIN, Texas (KGO) -- Cupertino-based Apple is branching out its operations right here in the United States, adding thousands of jobs.

The company plans to set up shop in three new locations on the West Coast and expand four other spots around the country.

Perhaps the biggest is a $1 billion investment in a new campus in Austin, Texas.

Project plans point to Apple becoming the city's largest private employer.

"We'll start with 5,000 seats, with the ability to expand to 15,000 over time," Apple's VP of People, Deirdre O'Brien said in a Thursday morning press conference.

Apple and Texas leaders hailed the high-tech operation, which will eventually take over 133 acres.

At home in California, DRONEVIEW7 was over Apple headquarters, the sleek "spaceship" in the South Bay. The new Austin campus would be the largest outside Cupertino.

Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, hailed the high tech expansion, "Apple is deepening their investment in our people, our counties, region and city."

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We'll see a wave of Apple development across the country. The iPhone maker will also build new offices in Seattle, San Diego and Culver city. The tech giant will also expand its campuses in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder.

All this development is expected within the next three years.

"Growth in Austin is complementary to what we do here in Silicon Valley, and we're not directly competing," said Brian Brennan, Senior Vice President, Silicon Valley Leadership Group. "It complements their presence here, because our companies go where their markets are, and certainly Texas is a very important place for technology in this country."

Santa Clara University Prof. Robert Eberhart, Ph.D. adds, "If they're going to push the jobs, what we have to be cautious about, is do we create permanent jobs, or are we just moving jobs from one place to another? The real problem for technology companies in Silicon Valley today is where do they get the talent that they need to make their companies grow, and the talent that they need often can't afford a home close to where they work."

Caroline Chen is a Tax Professor at SJSU. She explained expansion across the country comes after new Trump Administration tax laws went into effect late last year.

"It really means that Apple is making a huge investment into the U.S.," she said.

Laws prevented Apple from avoiding taxes on international profits.

In January, Apple announced it would invest $30 billion in U.S. facilities and create 20,000 American jobs by 2023.

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"I think that this is actually completely on track," Chen said. "And, of course, they're also expanding by building new data centers as well."

In the next five years, Apple will invest $10 billion in U.S. data centers, including $4.5 billion this year and next.

Apple's data centers in North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada are currently being expanded. Preparations are underway for the company's newest data center in Iowa.

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In true Apple fashion, the company's data centers will run on 100% renewable energy.

Apple's announcement comes exactly one month after Amazon picked two locations for its HQ-2 project. Each of which is expected to land 25,000 jobs.

There are now 90,000 Apple employees nationwide.

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