updated 08:00 pm EDT, Sun June 19, 2011
Apple ring campus OKed by Sunnyvale, Santa Clara
Apple dodged possible conflicts with neighboring cities over its giant ring-shaped campus on Sunday as early reactions from local mayors suggested they mostly welcomed the "spaceship" building. Both Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews and Sunnyvale Mayor Melinda Hamilton were upbeat as its proximity to their borders meant they would enjoy a ripple effect. The employee relocation and restaurant traffic "brings the whole region up," Hamilton told the San Jose Mercury News.
Some issues still remained. The largest issue is expected to be traffic congestion, where commutes by Apple employees could slow them down further. As an example, Apple may have to pay for traffic or offset costs such as shortening Pruneridge Avenue in order to fit the new office.
Other local concerns, such as the eco-friendliness or looks of the neighborhood, might have to be answered by paying for new trees or other local care.
Some objections still existed to the deal. Sunnyvale Councilman Chris Moylan objected to Cupertino's near-automatic approval of Apple's building, claiming that his city wouldn't have gone ahead so quickly. "In Sunnyvale, we make decisions on projects like this after asking the residents how they feel about it," he said.
It's unclear whether other cities would have objected. Apple was already Cupertino's largest single source of employment and income and could dictate most of the terms. The new expansion, replacing HP's old headquarters, is also poised to give the San Francisco Bay Area city more clout and millions of dollars in tax revenues it can roll into schools and other public facilities.
Cupertino has had fierce competition in recent years as Google's Mountain View campus and Facebook's Palo Alto offices have potentially lured workers away. Much of the startup culture is also focused on San Francisco itself, where Twitter and other companies have been deemed important enough to get tax breaks.