Austin offers Visa $1.6 million
Incentive OK’D in hopes payment giant will pick city for IT center.
Austin formally offiered $1.6 million in incentives Thursday to Visa Inc., the credit card payments giant that is considering whether to build a new information technology center in Austin that would create nearly 800 new jobs over five years.
Visa, which runs the world’s largest payments network, is expected to choose a site by the end of this month. The California-based company also is considering sites in Denver and Virginia, according to area business recruiters.
If it chooses Austin, the company’s proposed contract with the city calls for creating 794 new jobs by the end of 2017 with an average annual wage of $113,351.
The Austin City Council voted 7-0 Thursday night to offier the incentives deal, which would be the biggest new tech expansion in the area since Apple Inc. approved the creation of an expanded 3,600-job Americas Operations Center in June.
Visa suggested, and the council approved, a change to the agreement that would require Visa’s architect and general contractor to pay a minimum wage of $11 an hour to workers on its construction project. The company made that decision a few days ago after listening to local concerns about wages paid to construction workers for projects that get public incentives, said Gary Farmer, head of Opportunity Austin, the economic development affiliate of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.