Good Corporate Guys

Here's a list of major employers that either moved out of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer region or decided not to move there, with a little prodding from the community and an attractive handout from the city's Smart Growth program. For other major companies such as Samsung and Applied Materials, located east of I-35, the watershed never seemed to be in the equation.

Computer Sciences Corp.: The economy headed south before the two CSC buildings (flanking City Hall) even opened their doors. CSC now occupies only one building while Silicon Labs is in the process of buying the second.

Dell Computer: The company quickly scrapped plans in 2000 to move its executive branch into new offices on Loop 360 after meeting with community activists.

Intel: Created Downtown's biggest subsidized eyesore after halting the construction project in 2001. The vacant shell on West Fifth is due to be razed soon to make way for a new federal courthouse, although hard financial times will delay work on the project.

Vignette: The era of good times and big subsidies ended here. This one-time darling of Austin's tech companies pulled the plug on its Downtown plans in the spring of 2001, before breaking ground.

Silicon Labs: Fast forward to two weeks ago – when SLABS announced it would buy one of the CSC buildings – and we've come full circle. The company voluntarily decided against following through with plans to expand in the Barton Springs Watershed. It's seeking incentives from the city.

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