Facebook Looks to Open 200-Person Office in Austin, Texas

Although Facebook has US offices outside of its Palo Alto headquarters — in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit and Washington, D.C. — it is set to make its first big domestic employee expansion 0utside of Silicon Valley.

If Austin, Texas’s city council approves a part of an incentives package, Facebook will open up a 200-person office there in May.

The office will focus on customer service, developer support, sales support, inside sales and risk management, Facebook tells us, with hiring obligations outlined in the economic development agreement between Facebook, the city, and the state. The state-run Texas Enterprise Fund will invest $1.4 million to lure Facebook in, and Austin will provide another $200,000. 180 of the jobs would be local to Austin, with the average wage being $54,000, according to the Austin American Statesman.

While the deal isn’t entirely closed, sources suggest it is a sure thing.

“Facebook is investigating locations around the U.S. to establish an additional online sales and operations office,” Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says in statement a provided by the company. “Austin is among the cities under consideration because of the area’s many attractive attributes including a deep talent pool and strong leadership in Austin, Texas and in Washington.”

Austin is home to the University of Texas, the state’s capitol, and a variety of high technology companies. It has an educated and technology-focused workforce, and is considered one of the top tech hubs in the US — outside of Silicon Valley, of course.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is in the middle of an elections campaign, has published about the move already — via a Facebook note, of course. He says that along with the job creation, Facebook will bring in $3.1 million in capital investment.

In other recent domestic expansion news, Facebook has said it is plans to expand its head count this year — it currently sits somewhere around 1000 — including to an additional big new office in Palo Alto. It also recently began building a data center in Prineville, Oregon.