Even as Austin continues to grow and evolve, the city’s core vision continues to reflect opportunity, creativity and sustainability. Austin metropolitan’s population is quickly nearing two million. Our city is defined as one of the most innovative hubs in the nation. From 1974 to the early 2000’s, Austin’s Motorola plant—now home to EIGHTFOLD—proved itself as a beacon of prosperity for its residents by bringing technology, jobs and a brighter energy to the community. EIGHTFOLD is honored to be the successor to Motorola’s legacy as the campus continues to thrive. A snapshot in time reveals monumental new development stemming from a rich history of more than forty years.
In 1974, Motorola expanded its base from Phoenix and chose Austin as the destination to build its first chip plant in central Texas. Austin’s population was barely reaching 300,000 at the time. This new plant was a catalyst to the city’s growth. The prospect of new jobs made living in Austin seem more abundant and many residents were excited to support such an enterprising company. Motorola’s presence had a significant local impact and a broader, national and global effect as well. The MOSB project organized by Motorola Semiconductor put Austin on the map as a leader in chip fabrication and manufacturing in the 80’s and 90’s. The company continued to grow in scale and technological force. Motorola and the EIGHTFOLD campus establish a precedent that Austin, as a city, is capable of great innovation and community success.
Completing this Austin growth, Motorola built five chip plants, hired thousands of workers and designed products that would revolutionize technology. Austin Community College had just been established and Austin City Limits was just beginning its national television broadcast of live music performances. And Austin’s homegrown Whole Foods Market wouldn’t be born for another 6 years. It was a different city and a different time and it was just the beginning of decades of explosive growth.
MOS8, a project name given by Motorola, has been re-imagined with a new team and energy aligned on a sole purpose to do right by the land and future tenants. Re-imagined as EIGHTFOLD (homage to the Buddhist Eightfold Noble Path) the land now guides us to do right for greater reward. It will be a place where work and life intersect and flow.
MOS8 was a technological force and industry trend-setter in the 80s and 90s, employing more than 11,000 in Austin alone. Motorola Semiconductor was instrumental in playing a huge part in launching Austin as a leader in the chip fabrication and manufacturing. According to Bill Walker, Motorola General Manager, “They were doing something that nobody else had done at the time.”
In 2004, Motorola reorganized and spun off its semiconductor business, which became Freescale Semiconductor. Beginning with great promise, a 2006 buyout led to an extended financial struggle. This led to NXP Semiconductors purchasing Freescale resulting in an entity that is one of the top 10 global chip manufacturers. Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said that even though Austin lost a company headquarters “There is no other city in the world that has what we have — the engineering brainpower and the experience to create advanced new products.”
This building complex has changed business names over the years. The buildings are solidly constructed in a premium location on the east side of Austin and positioned 15 minutes from both the airport and downtown. The campus has an electrical substation (enough to power a city the size of Georgetown) and is situated between the NXP and HP campuses, encompassing eight buildings and parking garages covering 109 acres located at 3443 Ed Bluestein Rd. This former fabrication plant will be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use space; a one-stop experience for anyone who works here. It will house a gourmet grocer, boutique hotel, restaurants, retail and class A office space for medical labs, data centers and creative art spaces. Culture-centric companies who value the human interactions of their work force will have a place to call home.
The energy pulsing through Austin is much like the energy we felt here forty years ago.