Calif. town clears Apple’s ‘spaceship’ campus

October 16, 2013

Apple got unanimous approval from the city council of Cupertino, Calif., to move ahead with plans for a new campus.

The company’s late co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs personally made his pitch for the campus before the council in 2011, saying that the four-story circular building would make it look “like a spaceship landed there.”

The building is expected to house up to 14,200 employees and will be surrounded by green space, according to the plans. The new campus is just across the highway from the tech giant’s current headquarters, which is also in Cupertino.

The building itself will be designed with input from architect Sir Norman Foster and his firm, Foster + Partners.

The measure was expected to pass with no problems, according to reports from the San Jose Mercury News, but the council met to finalize the impacts that the campus’s construction and presence would have on the city’s traffic patterns and environment.

Apple employees showed up in force at the meeting — the Mercury News reported “several hundred” Apple workers, some with bright green posters of support — to be there during the measure’s final vote.

The benefit of having Apple remain in Cupertino was not lost on the council members.

“It’s great that we’re keeping jobs here rather than letting them go somewhere else, and I want to thank both Apple and Steve Jobs for his vision,” said Cupertino City Council member Mark Santoro, at the meeting after the final vote passed.

Cupertino Deputy Mayor Gilbert Wong said in the meeting that the company is expected to have its grand opening in the winter of 2016 if everything goes “very well.”

The city will be holding a news conference Wednesday to discuss its approval of the campus plans. According to a release from the city of Cupertino, the conference will include remarks from Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney and representatives from Apple.

Related stories:

Apple plans new ‘spaceship’ headquarters

Apple hires Burberry CEO to run retail stores

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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