Apple’s North Carolina HQ now only ‘hopeful’

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Research Triangle
The possible site of Apple's next HQ.
Photo: Ildar Sagdejev/Wikipedia CC

A couple of months back, an announcement regarding Apple’s plans to build a new HQ in Raleigh, North Carolina were supposedly “imminent” and a “done deal.”

Things have remained quiet since then, however, and now a new report quotes North Carolina governor Roy Cooper as saying that he is “hopeful” Apple will pick the area, but admitting that they have yet to hear one way or the other.

“We obviously have made our proposal and we’re still waiting to hear back from them,” Cooper said. “We have not heard back from them. I think they are still working through all of the places that they’ve visited.”

No news is good news?

It remains to be seen whether no news is good news, or whether the silence on the part of Apple reveals that plans could have changed. Cooper also said the state had yet to hear back from Amazon, which has additionally considered North Carolina for another HQ.

Things definitely don’t exactly have quite the upbeat tone of earlier stories, however. According to local news outlet WRAL, “No one has told either Raleigh or [proposed location Research Triangle Park] or the state that Apple and Amazon have decided to pass on growing here.”

Other than just… you know, being secretive about stuff, there are two main things which could have affected an immediate announcement. One of these is a benefits package which had to be agreed in order to convince Apple to move to the area. From the tone of earlier reports, these arrangements were progressing well, but had yet to be actually signed off.

A potential backlash

Perhaps more notable is a potential PR backlash to the location. When the initial rumors started up, LGBT publication The Advocate reported that gay rights activists were “livid” about the possibility that Apple may be considering moving to the area.

This is the result of the area’s history of anti-LGBT laws. Most infamous of these was the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which made it law for people to use the public restrooms and changing rooms which correspond with their birth certificate sex, as opposed to their self-identified gender.

Apple has always presented itself as a very pro-LGBT company, which could trigger some blowback should it decide to announce its new HQ location is in an area with a less-than-sterling record in this area.

A major boon for the region

The new headquarters would bring around 10,000 jobs to North Carolina, including major investment in its Research Triangle Park, close to the University of North Carolina, NC State and Duke University. One government source previously said that this would be, “by far the biggest project this state’s ever seen as far as average salaries, number of jobs.”