You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Athenahealth accepts incentives deal, picks Austin for expansion


Athenahealth Inc. said Friday it has chosen Austin for an expansion of its research and development operations, and plans to create more than 600 jobs at the former Seaholm Power Plant building on West Cesar Chavez downtown.

The announcement came after the Austin City Council late Thursday approved $679,500 in incentives over 10 years for the Massachusetts-based heath information technology firm, which also will receive $5 million from the state.

“We’re thrilled to be growing our presence in Austin, a city with a culture and vibe that perfectly aligns with our own,” said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO of Athenahealth. “Athenahealth is growing all across the country as we work to fulfill our vision of becoming a national information backbone to make health care work as it should… Austin’s dynamic talent pool, combined with the fantastic support from Gov. Rick Perry and his team, as well as from the City of Austin, has made us already feel at home. We’re inspired to make Austin a hub for the important work we do to advance connectivity in health care.”

Athenahealth has said the jobs — most of them to be hired locally and many of them high-paying software developer jobs — will pay an average annual wage of $132,085. The city said its incentive package — which is equal to $250 per new full-time job, per year — will result in a total net benefit to the city of $1.67 million.

Athenahealth said it will make a total capital investment of $13 million in its new R&D center, which will be a 110,000-square-foot facility at the Seaholm redevelopment project. The company plans to hire 607 employees over the next 10 years, in addition to relocating its existing 36 Austin employees at Seaholm.

Athenahealth previously said sites in Georgia and Massachusetts were in competition with Austin for the center.

The Austin City Council voted 5-2 to approve the incentives, after Council Members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo and some residents questioned why the city needs to spend public dollars to lure companies, when Austin’s economy is among the best-performing in the nation.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell said the city’s share was “a relatively token amount” to leverage the $5 million in incentives the state was offering.

Holly Spring, director of communications for Watertown, Mass.-based Athenahealth, said the company “couldn’t be more enthused” about building on its presence in Austin as the fast-growing company expands its national footprint.

“We currently have U.S. offices in Massachusetts, Maine, Alabama, California, North Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas,” Spring said. “Austin offers Athenahealth everything we could ask for in a city. It’s among the top tech hubs in the country and provides an unrivaled culture of innovation, creativity, and talent.”

Athenahealth provides cloud-based services to health providers to manage medical records, billing, patient communications and other functions electronically.

Software, computer systems design and related services is a sector that employs over 25,000 in Austin and that has seen local job growth of 15 percent in the past year, chamber officials said. At least 15 companies in Austin employ more than 1,200 in developing software for health care provider.

“Athenahealth is a noteworthy addition to the growing list of innovative life science companies that have chosen to invest in their success in Austin,” Leffingwell said. “ I look forward to the company’s continued growth and success in Austin during this exciting time for our region.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Watch out Uber: Google’s Waze plans to expand ride sharing to more U.S. cities
Watch out Uber: Google’s Waze plans to expand ride sharing to more U.S. cities

Google’s navigation app Waze may be bringing another carpooling option fairly soon to a city near you. In an interview Wednesday with the Wall Street Journal, Waze CEO Noam Bardin said the company plans to expand its ride-share services beyond Israel and the Bay Area to include additional U.S. cities and some Latin American markets...
Garza to step down as CEO of Seton Healthcare Family
Garza to step down as CEO of Seton Healthcare Family

Jesús Garza, a former Austin city manager and one of the leading architects of the health care safety net in Central Texas, said Thursday he will retire as CEO of the Seton Healthcare Family. Garza will continue to work with Seton as it identifies and transitions to new leadership and eventually plans to consult for Ascension, Seton’s...
Business Digest: Austin gasoline prices mostly steady

FUEL Austin gasoline prices mostly steady Austin-area gas prices continued to hold mostly steady this week, mirroring the national trend, according to auto club AAA Texas. The average local price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 1 cent to $2.06, according to auto club AAA Texas. The price this week is 55 cents more than the same week last year...
Austin billionaire David Booth steps down at Dimensional Fund Advisors
Austin billionaire David Booth steps down at Dimensional Fund Advisors

Billionaire investment guru David Booth, one of the biggest names in Austin’s financial sector as founder of investment management powerhouse Dimensional Fund Advisors, is stepping away from the daily management of the firm he founded in 1981. Booth is stepping down as co-CEO, although he will remain as the firm’s executive chairman, Dimensional...
SodaStream recalls 51K bottles over explosion risk
SodaStream recalls 51K bottles over explosion risk

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Tuesday a recall of SodaStream bottles, because they can burst under pressure.The CPSC recall states that no injuries have been reported, but notes that bursting bottles could injure the user or bystanders. Consumers should immediately stop using the bottles and contact SodaStream via phone...
More Stories