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Apple’s New Campus Eliminates Surface Parking, Adds Cars to Traffic

Apple's expanding campus will remove surface parking from its complex but may add more cars to Cupertino's roads because of its increasing employee base. Photo by raneko.

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., unveiled his company’s plans for a new campus for approval on Tuesday at the Cupertino City Council Meeting. The new campus will occupy 98 acres of land bought from Hewlett Packard Co., in close proximity to the existing Apple campus.

Although the company is making an effort to become more environmentally friendly by increasing landscaping, doubling the amount of trees and removing surface parking, the company is also expected to increase in size by 20 percent. In addition to its underground parking lot, the new campus would include a four-story parking structure to accommodate a growing employee base and an ensuing car culture.

The land currently occupied by the Apple campus dedicates only 20 percent to landscaping, with most of the remaining land taken up by asphalt parking lots. The new campus will be much bigger than its previous location, and it will dedicate 80 percent of land to landscaping and move parking to an underground lot.

At the city council meeting, Jobs explained that the new structure would rely on the local energy grid as a back-up power source, and instead, would use its own energy center as a primary source, generating energy from cleaner sources like natural gas.

Today, Apple employs 9,500 employees and is the largest taxpayer in Cupertino, California, Jobs explained. With the construction of the new campus, Apple hopes to grow to 12,000-13,000 employees. In response to this growth, Councilmember Barry Chang asked Jobs about traffic concerns.

“We’re not increasing the employment by much,” Jobs explained. “Only by 20 percent.”

Though it was a vague response, Jobs explained earlier that many of Apple’s employees live near work and ride bicycles to access their jobs, a near perfect model of “New Urbanism.” In addition, Apple provides bus services to employees from San Francisco to Santa Cruz using biodiesel-fueled vehicles, but the fleet is only 20 buses.

Can Apple have a greater impact on sustainability by offering more incentives to employees to choose public transportation?

The company is looking to quickly move forward with construction plans with a move-in date of 2015.

Here are some images of the proposed complex. What do you think of Apple’s new campus?

 

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  • If Steve really wants to be progressive and save energy, Apple should rent themselves a tunnel-boring machine and build a subway from the new campus — judging from these plans, they seem to have rather many gobs of money. That would be something truly innovative and forward-thinking.

  • Northguy1000

    I think that Apple tried their best to hide alot of facts:

    1) Moving all employees to one location has a few problems….
    a) Releasing all their rented space will add more traffic – and employment- to cupertino.
    b) assuming the city will pay for all improvements to the road network is silly (Steve says (paraphrased) “I pay taxes to the city, thats their job”).

    2) Natural gas power plant?!?
    Anyone else feel that unless they use a bloombox or other non-emitting source, how can they straight face say they care about the environment? HELLO… this is california, solar anyone?

    3) City benefits?
    Steve says that the jobs are the benefits…. how about opening 5 acres to the neighborhood for a large collection of park uses? (sport fields/dog parks/etc)…. or maybe something? anything? Sorry no, only jobs. Dont get me wrong, jobs are great (especially very good paying ones), but this alone does not mean a good corporate citizen in a city.

    This all being said, it looks nice.

  • leero

    While the building and campus are beautiful, it is the antithesis of New Urbanism, not a perfect model. There is no street frontage to the new campus, no integration with surrounding context, huge, unoccupied spaces that probably won’t feel secure at night, and very low overall density (FAR of 0.3?)

    I’m a big Apple fan, but I’m turned off by the incredibly weak response of the City Council (are they for real?) I understand that Cupertino wants to play nice with its biggest taxpayer, but this was going overboard.

  • Alias

    When HP owned the site, their people drove, too.