Apple North Carolina campus efforts continue to move at a glacial pace

Posted:
in General Discussion

Local utilities are ready to go on the site of Apple's future North Carolina campus, but the company appears to not be particularly motivated to get the project done any time soon.

The campus will be near Raleigh, North Carolina
The campus will be near Raleigh, North Carolina



The campus was rumored as early as 2018, but announced in April 2021. Since then, there has been a trickle of Apple investment into the project, instead of the expected major and quick leaps.

And, there still does not appear to be a great deal of urgency on Apple's part to get it done. A new report cites local utility giants standing by, but ultimately waiting on Apple to move.

A report on Monday by local news channel WTVD cites a Wake County spokesperson talking about stormwater management. The county has finished its review of the site in early 2024.

It reportedly hasn't heard back from Apple. Until it does, it can't move the approval process forward.

Additionally, Duke Energy says that the main power lines are installed. Full hook-up awaits structures that just aren't there, nor has any ground been broken.

Paperwork obtained by the news station says that Apple is starting construction in 2026. This is in contrast to its Austin, TX facility. After a 2018 announcement of a second campus in the area, the company broke ground within a month of signing the deal.

And, it has already started an expansion to that facility.

The proposed Triangle campus, when complete, will span 281 acres. It will include commercial offices, a parking deck, streets, and a central utility plant.

The campus, built on four parcels of undeveloped woodland near Cary and Morrisville, is expected to cost $552 million. Apple has requested approximately 700,000 square feet for office space, an additional 190,000 square feet for support structures, and almost 3,000 square feet for parking.

The initial phase of construction will see the erection of six buildings, possibly adding more structures in the future.

In May 2023, a collection of site plans was submitted to Wake County, and among them was the inclusion of a map.
In May 2023, a collection of site plans was submitted to Wake County, and among them was the inclusion of a map.



Apple has committed to employing at least 2,700 people at the campus within the next decade, which is expected to increase to 3,000 eventually. As of 2021, Apple is leasing an office building on the MetLife campus in Cary.

It's not clear how many employees Apple has in the state right now. It is leasing office space at present, and the hiring targets are not reliant on the site being constructed.

The company already operates a data center in the state, has solar farms, and several Apple Stores.




Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    tomahawktomahawk Posts: 179member
    3,000 square feet for parking? I feel like you're missing at least one digit.  You could fit 33 RAV4s in 3,000 square feet if you parked them bumper to bumper.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,887administrator
    tomahawk said:
    3,000 square feet for parking? I feel like you're missing at least one digit.  You could fit 33 RAV4s in 3,000 square feet if you parked them bumper to bumper.
    3000 sqft is what's on the documentation. But you're right -- somebody's probably missing a digit.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    ebcdicebcdic Posts: 6member
    190,000 SQFT of "Support Structures" might include a parking garage.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,099member
    Clearly Apple is stalling for time, they are probably waiting for this year's North Carolina gubernatorial race to be decided in November.

    The incumbent governor Roy Cooper (Democrat) has been termed out leaving two main challengers, Josh Stein (D) and current Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson (Republican).

    I'll leave it as an exercise to AppleInsider readers to research these two candidates' platforms independently but should Robinson be elected as governor, my guess is that Apple will abandon their plans to build a corporate campus in North Carolina.

    Apple will take no further action at this site or anywhere else in the state until after North Carolina voters have spoken.
    edited May 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    sconosciutosconosciuto Posts: 273member
    mpantone said:
    Clearly Apple is stalling for time, they are probably waiting for this year's North Carolina gubernatorial race to be decided in November.

    The incumbent governor Roy Cooper (Democrat) has been termed out leaving two main challengers, Josh Stein (D) and current Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson (Republican).

    I'll leave it as an exercise to AppleInsider readers to research these two candidates' platforms independently but should Robinson be elected as governor, my guess is that Apple will abandon their plans to build a corporate campus in North Carolina.

    Apple will take no further action at this site or anywhere else in the state until after North Carolina voters have spoken.
    Why would this be so crucial? The stalling began long ago.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,099member
    Why would this be so crucial? The stalling began long ago.

    Please take the time to do your own research on each candidate's platform.

    Anyone who understands Apple's longstanding core values should be able to recognize why Apple is hesitating to proceed with site development at this time. If the gubernatorial candidates were different people, there is more chance that this property development would show more activity at this point. You do not need to be a registered voter or be versed in American politics to speculate why Apple is balking.

    It's important to reiterate that these are not static situations but very fluid. The 2024 North Carolina gubernatorial race was pretty hazy four years ago. Now that the primaries are over and the candidates are determined, the possible paths are much clearer than they were in 2020.

    For certain, Apple will not make any sort of public statement explaining the reasons for this project's delay. You're going to have to figure it out yourself based on contextual clues. I know some people online don't have the capability to make these sort of analyses but I'm hoping a few people here at AppleInsider are capable of it.

    Anyhow AppleInsider should probably stop posting updates on this campus until there is actual activity.
    edited May 21 MisterKitAlex1Ndanoxcharlesnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 907member
    mpantone said:
    Why would this be so crucial? The stalling began long ago.

    Please take the time to do your own research on each candidate's platform.

    Anyone who understands Apple's longstanding core values should be able to recognize why Apple is hesitating to proceed with site development at this time. If the gubernatorial candidates were different people, there is more chance that this property development would show more activity at this point. You do not need to be a registered voter or be versed in American politics to speculate why Apple is balking.

    It's important to reiterate that these are not static situations but very fluid. The 2024 North Carolina gubernatorial race was pretty hazy four years ago. Now that the primaries are over and the candidates are determined, the possible paths are much clearer than they were in 2020.

    For certain, Apple will not make any sort of public statement explaining the reasons for this project's delay. You're going to have to figure it out yourself based on contextual clues. I know some people online don't have the capability to make these sort of analyses but I'm hoping a few people here at AppleInsider are capable of it.

    Anyhow AppleInsider should probably stop posting updates on this campus until there is actual activity.
    And it's not just the gubernatorial candidates who differ wildly when it comes to Apple's core values. The passage of abortion bans, anti-LGBTQ legislation, book bans, etc. all demonstrate North Carolina's red state values that are the antithesis of what Apple stands for. It's a mystery to me why they were ever going to build here, but I think the same about their Texas campus. Why espouse one set of values and then build in places where employees will not enjoy the rights you profess to believe in. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,478member
    It could be as simple as Apple slow walking their expansion plans where possible during the “working from home” (WFH) turmoil during and immediately after the pandemic.

    I imagine it was quite painful for Apple to see their signature campus basically empty for so long, not to mention the negativity associated with trying to get employees back in the office. 

    In any case, why would Apple have rushed to add more capacity when they weren’t using what they already had? Likewise if WFH actually took firm hold across Apple’s competitors, Apple would have been challenged to justify building new facilities that would be underutilized in a WFH landscape, not to mention the potential negative impact on recruiting. 

    I’m not sure where Apple is on getting employees back in the office. Not much talk of it lately. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,099member
    dewme said:
    It could be as simple as Apple slow walking their expansion plans where possible during the “working from home” (WFH) turmoil during and immediately after the pandemic.

    I imagine it was quite painful for Apple to see their signature campus basically empty for so long, not to mention the negativity associated with trying to get employees back in the office. 

    In any case, why would Apple have rushed to add more capacity when they weren’t using what they already had? Likewise if WFH actually took firm hold across Apple’s competitors, Apple would have been challenged to justify building new facilities that would be underutilized in a WFH landscape, not to mention the potential negative impact on recruiting. 

    I’m not sure where Apple is on getting employees back in the office. Not much talk of it lately. 
    Well, the offices need to be where the employees are. A bunch of buildings in Cupertino, California aren't going to accommodate workers in Austin, Texas or Raleigh, North Carolina. Even if there are unoccupied buildings in Cupertino, they won't help people that aren't in driving distance.

    Apple plays musical chairs with many of their office buildings.

    In each place where Apple has a major campus, they have a number of other buildings with leases that expire at different times. Over time, Apple may renew leases or give them up depending on their needs; these buildings are not uniform in capacity or distance from each other. The Apple Campus UFO spaceship allowed them to move most of Infinite Loop (and some bigger buildings in Sunnyvale) into the new development which is really a core engineering campus. Other groups moved into the newly vacated Infinite Loop spaces leaving small satellite buildings empty and eventually dropped. A lot of the Services people (Apple Maps, Siri, App Store) are now at Infinite Loop.

    There's no recent talk about Apple getting employees back into the office because they laid down their law a couple of years ago when pandemic restrictions eased up. AppleInsider and other sites covered this ad nauseam. You are free to go back and read all those old articles. I'm certain you commented in several of them.

    Apple was one of the highest profile tech companies to mandate 3+ days back in the office. A few employees made a stink of it, a few quit, and life continued. Apple senior management was never a huge proponent of work from home (unlike Meta who flip flopped on this); they never guaranteed any regular employee that they could work the entire time from home unless it was a specific role that could be done so at the start of hiring.

    Silicon Valley has basically turned into a three-day-in-the-office new normal. Overwhelmingly people are choosing to go into the office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday leaving buildings and roads pretty light on Mondays and especially Fridays. You can see this in restaurants too. All of the corporate parties and events are Tue-Wed-Thu. Friday happy hour -- formerly a busy after-work time -- is now pretty much a thing of the past.

    edited May 23 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,099member
    charlesn said:
    And it's not just the gubernatorial candidates who differ wildly when it comes to Apple's core values. The passage of abortion bans, anti-LGBTQ legislation, book bans, etc. all demonstrate North Carolina's red state values that are the antithesis of what Apple stands for. It's a mystery to me why they were ever going to build here, but I think the same about their Texas campus. Why espouse one set of values and then build in places where employees will not enjoy the rights you profess to believe in. 
    Well, yes. In a nutshell, Apple has been monitoring what the people of North Carolina want to do. All of those various legislations were passed by representatives who were elected by the voters.

    North Carolina is still very much a swing state and vacillates both directions depending on the overall mood of the residents.

    Regardless of the state's political tendencies, the reality is that both Texas and North Carolina have a large concentration of qualified tech employees so Apple -- who values in-the-office employee presence -- needs to provide offices in those locations if they want residents to work for the company.

    Apple -- like the general public -- can only hope over time that people's attitudes will change like suffrage, civil rights, smoking, recycling, whatever. These sort of collective cultural changes don't happen overnight but in fact occur over generations.

    Whether or not Apple is ready to make a major capital expenditure in any given location at a given time is up to them. It appears that they are uncertain whether or not North Carolina is the right place at the right time for this sort of capital.

    If Apple tables plans to build this campus, they will not put forth a public statement. They will not say why, they won't say when they will resume development, nothing like that.
    edited May 23 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,478member
    mpantone said:
    dewme said:
    It could be as simple as Apple slow walking their expansion plans where possible during the “working from home” (WFH) turmoil during and immediately after the pandemic.

    I imagine it was quite painful for Apple to see their signature campus basically empty for so long, not to mention the negativity associated with trying to get employees back in the office. 

    In any case, why would Apple have rushed to add more capacity when they weren’t using what they already had? Likewise if WFH actually took firm hold across Apple’s competitors, Apple would have been challenged to justify building new facilities that would be underutilized in a WFH landscape, not to mention the potential negative impact on recruiting. 

    I’m not sure where Apple is on getting employees back in the office. Not much talk of it lately. 
    Well, the offices need to be where the employees are. A bunch of buildings in Cupertino, California aren't going to accommodate workers in Austin, Texas or Raleigh, North Carolina. Even if there are unoccupied buildings in Cupertino, they won't help people that aren't in driving distance.

    Apple plays musical chairs with many of their office buildings.

    In each place where Apple has a major campus, they have a number of other buildings with leases that expire at different times. Over time, Apple may renew leases or give them up depending on their needs; these buildings are not uniform in capacity or distance from each other. The Apple Campus UFO spaceship allowed them to move most of Infinite Loop (and some bigger buildings in Sunnyvale) into the new development which is really a core engineering campus. Other groups moved into the newly vacated Infinite Loop spaces leaving small satellite buildings empty and eventually dropped. A lot of the Services people (Apple Maps, Siri, App Store) are now at Infinite Loop.

    There's no recent talk about Apple getting employees back into the office because they laid down their law a couple of years ago when pandemic restrictions eased up. AppleInsider and other sites covered this ad nauseam. You are free to go back and read all those old articles. I'm certain you commented in several of them.

    Apple was one of the highest profile tech companies to mandate 3+ days back in the office. A few employees made a stink of it, a few quit, and life continued. Apple senior management was never a huge proponent of work from home (unlike Meta who flip flopped on this); they never guaranteed any regular employee that they could work the entire time from home unless it was a specific role that could be done so at the start of hiring.

    Silicon Valley has basically turned into a three-day-in-the-office new normal. Overwhelmingly people are choosing to go into the office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday leaving buildings and roads pretty light on Mondays and especially Fridays. You can see this in restaurants too. All of the corporate parties and events are Tue-Wed-Thu. Friday happy hour -- formerly a busy after-work time -- is now pretty much a thing of the past.

    Thank you for your comments. I agree, empty offices in one location obviously can't be utilized by people in a different location, but the work can sometimes be moved between physical locations. I've experienced this on a number of occasions, mostly involving moving work from the US to China or other "low cost" regions. But some projects are location dependent and relocating a project from a lower cost area to a higher cost area to take advantage of available office space is generally not a sound move.

    As far as WFH and return to work, I've not kept track of where Apple is on this after they put the edict in place. It sounds like all of the dust has settled and it's a done deal. Thanks for bringing me up to speed. I know that some large companies in my area only laid down the non-optional back-to-work policy late last year. Like you said, most everyone is doing the 3-day in the office deal, but getting everyone to agree on which 3 days still seems to be a bone of contention for some workplaces. As someone who came up through the system where "Casual Fridays" were a big deal, I have a hard time sympathizing with the current dilemmas. In fact, when you're in the Navy being allowed to go home after a work day on non duty days was a fully revokable granted privilege with zero guarantee, even while in port. At sea, forget about it. But that's a whole different world with its own set of rules and culture.

    I'm not totally convinced, or at least I'm hanging on to the hope, that every Apple move is not contingent on the prevailing politics and policies in the regions where Apple operates. In fact, Apple seems seems rather malleable to tolerating less than ideal conditions when the area or region in question is highly impactful to Apple's bottom line. I actually prefer that business and partisan politics remain disconnected, but in some cases this is not the reality of the situation and in other cases, which should be non-partisan, it is not tolerable under any circumstances due to very significant and legitimate reasons, like human rights or national security threats. But partisan politics like what's being mentioned in the preceding comments, I'm not so sure that Apple wants to step into that stinky black hole at the expense of their business objectives and performance. That's why I mentioned that Apple's uncharacteristically slow pace on this NC expansion project over the past few years may be in-part of the turmoil and uncertainty of the time that has created longer lasting effects. We will see.  
    watto_cobra
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