CUPERTINO, CA — The spaceship is cleared to land.
After a meeting that stretched over four-and-a-half hours, the Cupertino City Council gave Apple’s new campus the green light.
Two years have passed since Steve Jobs pitched the futuristic new headquarters to the town where he met Steve Wozniak as a high school student. Designed by Sir Norman Foster, at 176-acre Apple Campus 2 will be one of the largest building complexes in the world.
Dozens of locals came to testify that, in effect, this is a modern company town — the sentiment from former Apple employees, enthusiastic local business owners (“Apple engineers need our coffee!”), retired teachers and even environmental groups was overwhelmingly positive — concerns over what happens when you land such a huge project in one’s backyard were numerous.
Naysayers (one of them called himself the “loneliest man in the room”) complained about the inevitable traffic brought by 16,000 Apple employees (a number expected to blossom to 24,000) who will be driving to and from work when the massive project is completed. Other concerns were voiced about the security measures that keep the campus closed to the public and shut off a stretch of Calabazas Creek to hikers.
The 60-foot-high “fruit loop” will change the profile of the town of about 60,000, that’s for sure. Here’s hoping it’s for the better. More on the meeting and its impromptu tribute to Steve Jobs here.
Stay tuned, after this unanimous vote the council has one more procedural vote before Apple can break ground.