Georgia a possible contender for Apple expansion?


In September, Amazon set off one of the biggest bidding wars among states in memory for its second headquarters project, and Apple appears to be gearing up for a sequel, with Georgia a possible contender.

Apple said Wednesday that it is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment the tech company said it will make to the U.S. that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall from the country’s new tax law.

Apple’s planned domestic investment plan immediately got the attention of economic development officials across the country.

In broad strokes, Apple’s plans include investments in its U.S. manufacturing network and supply chain, new data centers and a future “campus” that the maker of iPhones and Macintosh computers said it will announce later this year.

That means the investments could be sprinkled across the country, and not in solely one location like Amazon’s 50,000-job “HQ2.”

“It sounds like it is multifaceted. It’s not just one thing,” said Craig Lesser, a former commissioner of economic development for the state of Georgia, who is now an economic development strategist with Pendleton Group.

The Atlanta area would undoubtedly position itself to be a contender for a major Apple corporate campus or technology-job expansion, touting the region’s relatively low cost of living, growing tech workforce and research universities such as Georgia Tech.

In recent years, the Atlanta area won numerous regional headquarters, innovation centers and software development centers. Much of that growth has centered in Midtown near Georgia Tech.

Like Amazon’s HQ2 search, Apple’s expansion plans likely will be closely watched and fiercely fought for by rival states.

“This is another iconic company with big plans that’s proven to be successful,” Lesser said. “Who wouldn’t want some part of this investment in their community?”

In recent years, Apple developed a new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., and a major operations center in Austin, Texas.

The future campus, which Apple provided little by way of details, would “initially house technical support for customers,” Apple said.

Apple’s multibillion-dollar pledge came less than a month after Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code championed by President Donald Trump that will increase corporate profits.

Besides dramatically lowering the standard corporate tax rate, the reforms offer a one-time break on cash being held overseas.

Apple plans to take advantage of that provision to bring back most of its roughly $252 billion in offshore cash, generating a tax bill of about $38 billion. It’s something that Apple CEO Tim Cook promised the company would do if it could avoid being taxed at the 35 percent rate that had been in effect under the previous tax law.

About $75 billion of the $350 billion in U.S. investments will be paid from money that had been overseas, Apple estimated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Delta ending discount for NRA members
Delta ending discount for NRA members

Delta Air Lines announced Saturday it is ending a discount for National Rifle Association members. Atlanta-based Delta said it is ending its contract for discounted rates through the airline’s group travel program. “We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from its website,” Delta said in a written statement...
Should you talk about your pay? Career experts weigh in
Should you talk about your pay? Career experts weigh in

Even with nearly every cultural taboo thrown to the wind− from discussing sexual orientation to politics; one last conversational taboo still exist among Americans − how much we get paid. "These days, it's okay to talk about the troubles we're having with our children or even our marriages," noted one blogger from PayScale...
BB&T recovering after 'technical issue' left customers without access to accounts, cash
BB&T recovering after 'technical issue' left customers without access to accounts, cash

Millions of BB&T customers were locked out of their accounts Thursday night and Friday morning due to an outage that bank officials said was caused by a "technical issue." The interruption of services was first reported Thursday night and appeared to last until just before noon Friday. “At this time, many of our services...
Krog Street Market developer plans redo of aging Atlanta hotel
Krog Street Market developer plans redo of aging Atlanta hotel

The developer of Atlanta’s Krog Street Market plans to convert an aging extended stay hotel in the Piedmont Heights neighborhood of the city into an eclectic boutique hotel. Atlanta-based Paces Properties said it has signed a deal with Texas hotelier Liz Lambert and her Austin-based hospitality company Bunkhouse to retrofit the...
UPS to add new electric delivery trucks to fleet
UPS to add new electric delivery trucks to fleet

UPS plans to deploy 50 electric delivery trucks as part of its fleet of brown vehicles, a move it expects could give a boost to adoption of electric vehicles across the industry. Sandy Springs-based UPS in its Thursday announcement said the trucks – which it is partnering with electric vehicle manufacturer Workhorse Group Inc....
More Stories