Steve Jobs made his last public appearance before the Cupertino City Council on June 7th 2011, showing them the plans for the upcoming campus that he wanted to implement for the company. More than 12,000 employees could fit into the circular building.
At the time he said “It is a little like a spaceship’. The four story building measured 2.8 billion square feet and was two thirds the size of the Pentagon. He added “We have a shot, at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.”
Steve Jobs never wanted to settle for second best so the massive building seemed to follow his goal of creating something that had never been done before. Sadly he died four months later before the plans could be sent to the Cupertino city planners.
His plans were to add 6,000 trees into the complex and hide almost all the roads and parking spaces underground. One cafeteria in the building could cope with lunch for up to 3,000 employees. He was also focused on making sure all the glass was curved. “there isn’t a straight piece of glass on the whole building. As you know, if you build things, this isn’t the cheapest way to build them.”
Initally in 2011, the budget for the Apple Campus building complex was set at $3 billion, but since then it has rose to $5 billion. This is according to a Bloomberg report mentioning five people close to the project who aren’t authorised to speak on record.
If this is accurate then it will cost more to make than even the $3.9 billion set aside for the new World Trade Center complex in New York. The cost for the Apple campus may cause concern among investors. Shares have fallen 38 percent since September and others are concerned about Apple’s upcoming product pipeline.
Bloomberg quote Keith Goddard, chief executive of Tulsa, who owns 30,537 shares in Apple. He said “It would take some convincing for me to understand why $5 billion is the right number for a project like this. This is rubbing salt in the wound, to spend at a level that most anyone would say is extravagant, at a time when they’re being so stingy on dividends.”
Kitguru says: Is this the right time for Apple to be spending $5 billion on a new HQ?