|City of Round Rock|
|Motto: "Sports Capital of Texas"|
Round Rock, Texas
|Coordinates: 30°30′31″N 97°40′44″W|
Round Rock is a city in the state of Texas within the Greater Austin, Texas metropolitan area and Williamson County. The 2013 census estimate places the population at 109,821.
The city straddles both sides of the Balcones Escarpment, a fault line in which the areas roughly east of IH-35 are flat and characterized by having black, fertile soils of the Blackland Prairie, and the west side of the Escarpment which consists mostly of hilly, karst-like terrain with little topsoil and higher elevations and which is part of the Texas Hill Country. Located about 20 miles (32 km) north of downtown Austin, Round Rock shares a common border with Austin at Texas State Highway 45.
In August 2008, Money magazine named Round Rock as the seventh-best American small city in which to live. Round Rock was the only Texas city to make the Top 10. In a CNN article dated July 1, 2009, Round Rock was listed as the second-fastest growing city in the country with a population growth of 8.2% in the preceding year.
Round Rock has a strong public education system. According to the 2008 ratings from the Texas Education Agency, the Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) ranks among the best in the state. Of 42 schools within it, twelve were rated exemplary and eleven are recognized.
Round Rock is perhaps best known as the international headquarters of Dell, which employs approximately 16,000 people at its Round Rock facilities. The presence of Dell along with other major employers, a strong economic development program, favorable tax rates, and major retailers such as IKEA and a Premium Outlet Mall, and the mixed use La Frontera center, have changed Round Rock from a sleepy bedroom community into its own self-contained "super suburb."
Round Rock is located 17 miles (27 km) north of downtown Austin, and 10 miles (16 km) south of Georgetown. Its elevation is 709 ft (216 m).
According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.3 square miles (68.0 km2), of which 26.1 square miles (67.7 km2) are land and 0.1 square mile (0.3 km2) (0.50%) is water.
The City of Round Rock has maintained a high quality of life while becoming a major center for economic growth in Central Texas, with industry clusters in clean energy, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and computer/software development.
Round Rock has more than twenty major employers including: Toppan Photomasks, Sears Customer Care, IKEA, Round Rock Premium Outlets, KoMiCo Technology Inc., Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp (TGSLC), Cintas, Dresser, Hospira, and TECO-Westinghouse, Cerilliant Corporation, Emerson Process Management, and Dell.
Dell is a multinational computer and information technology corporation based in Round Rock, which develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. The company employs about 11,500 people in the Round Rock facilities and about 96,000 people worldwide. Dell was originally based in Austin after its initial formation in 1984 as PC's Limited by UT college student Michael Dell. With the need for significant space as it expanded, the City of Round Rock in 1996 offered Dell a "Chapter 380" agreement by offering to split sales tax revenue from in-state sales 50/50 between Dell and the City. A "Chapter 380" agreement is named for the chapter in Vernon's Statutes that permits sales tax revenue sharing foreconomic development purposes. It was the first time such an agreement had been used in Central Texas and among the very first in the state. As of 1999, approximately half of the general fund of the City of Round Rock originates from sales taxes generated from the Dell headquarters. Today the company is one of the largest technology companies in the world, listed as number 38 on the Fortune 500 (2010). Fortune also lists Dell as the #5 most admired company in its industry. As part of its clean energy program, in 2008 Dell switched the power sources of the Round Rock headquarters to more environmentally friendly ones, with 60% of the total power coming from TXU Energy wind farms and 40% coming from the Austin Community Landfill gas-to-energy plant operated by Waste Management, Inc
Round Rock's largest commercial and office business center is La Frontera, located at the intersection of Loop 1, SH 45 and IH-35. La Frontera combines multi-tenant offices, company headquarters facilities, 1,000,000 square feet (90,000 m2) of retail,and several apartment complexes and other smaller retail and housing centers. The project also includes Williamson County's largest hotel, the Austin North Marriott, which provides space for large conferences, meetings and banquets - a first for the county and an important component of Round Rock's economic efforts. The center is also home to the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TGSLC), and Emerson Process Management. The retail portion is the second largest outdoor commercial project in the Austin - Round Rock Metro area. La Frontera was developed by Bill Smalling and Don Martin, withFort Worth financier Ed Bass as financial partner.
In 2006, a retail-only hub opened in Round Rock at the corner of Interstate 35 and Highway 1431 (now renamed "University Boulevard"): The major retailer center includes the Simon Property Group's Premium Outlets Mall, across the street is IKEA as well as numerous other retail stores and restaurants. The project was developed by Simon Property Group, with other portions by Barshop & Oles of Austin.