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November 06, 2015

Apple's real estate rampage across Silicon Valley could dwarf its spaceship campus

Venture Beat

Chris O'Brien

When first unveiled a few years ago, the Apple Campus II seemed like a gigantic wonderland for the company's ballooning Silicon Valley workforce.

But as big and ambitious as that project is, it turns out we ain't seen nothin' yet.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal reported that Apple is in talks with the city of San Jose to build something almost 50 percent bigger than its spaceship office.

SVBJ said the new office, in the northern corridor of the city, could be 4.15 million square feet (as compared to the 2.8 million square feet Campus II in Cupertino).

Whatever the case, the latest news is the capstone to a series of nonstop real estate moves by the tech giant in recent months. While work on Phase I of the Apple Campus II is still slated for completion by the end of 2016, the company has been hiring like mad, with an estimated total of 25,000 employees in Silicon Valley.

Back around 2000, the company had about 3,000 employees in the region.

To keep up with its massive workforce, Apple has been signing deals to lease or buy office space across Silicon Valley. The San Jose Mercury News presented an overview of these deals and estimated that, potentially, Apple could fit up to 20,000 workers in the North San Jose parcels it has bought, a number that would certainly top the 13,000 slated for the new Cupertino campus.

And, of course, the company plans to retain the Infinite Loop campus that serves as its official headquarters.

With Google and Facebook also expanding nonstop, the Mercury News notes mounting concerns about things like traffic, housing prices, and others that would impact quality of life.

But for now, Apple just needs more space for its people.

"This is really incredible. It is aggressive. It's a land grab," Chad Leiker, a vice president with Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate brokerage, told the Mercury News. "This is a major investment in Silicon Valley. It's pretty amazing."

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