Two tech companies eye Austin suburb for $3 billion megasite

Hutto’s EDC board referred to the companies as “Project Acropolis” and “Project D12” during a meeting on potential incentives for the project.

Hutto, Texas (iStock)
Hutto, Texas (iStock)

Two unidentified tech companies dubbed “Project Acropolis” and “Project D12” are canvassing Hutto, a growing suburb north of Austin, for a $3 billion development.

The firms aim to occupy about 600 acres of the city’s 1,400-acre megasite off Route 79, a short drive from Samsung’s future $17 billion plant, according to Austin Business Journal. The megasite, which is about 20 miles from downtown, was a point of interest for Tesla’s Austin gigafactory and its 2014 plan for a Texas battery plant.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. met on Monday to discuss the potential moves. City officials said they didn’t name the companies because the projects are still confidential.

Acropolis, said to be a designer and maker of microchip components, is looking at 450 acres, according to the outlet, which cited city documents. It expects to initially invest $340 million and ramp that up to $2 billion over the next decade, including the cost of land and machinery.

Project D12 was categorized by the ABJ as an electric vehicle manufacturer. The company is looking at about 140 acres next to the other project with an initial capital investment of $118 million, which would increase to $967 million by the end of 2028.

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The meeting consisted of two hearings to inform the public that the Austin suburb could use public funds to develop incentives for the projects. The primary point of contention was potential sales and real estate taxes. No residents turned up to speak at the public hearings.

Said agreement would likely be a Chapter 380 economic development agreement, used to negotiate incentives for commercial projects. The board laid out plans for both firms that include reimbursements for infrastructure such as water works and road construction, new tax increment reinvestment zones and sales tax sharing agreements.

Bob Farley, Hutto’s economic development director, said he expects a decision by the middle of the year.

Farley credited Samsung and other major tech companies’ investments in central Texas with the heightened attention the region is receiving from the “applied technology” sector. Such companies require expansive operations for engineering production and new product development.

“This is very exciting for the community to have these kinds of shots,” Farley said. The arrival of Project Acropolis and Project D12 would add to the sense that the Austin area is becoming the “new center of gravity” for critical tech in the country.

[Austin Business Journal] — Maddy Sperling