A new report looks into Apple’s very slow progress on the North Carolina campus it announced more than two years ago, and it’s not clear why Apple is dragging its feet.
The Wake County, North Carolina campus was rumored as early as 2018, but announced in April 2021. Since then, there has been a trickle of Apple investment into the project, instead of the expected major and quick leaps.
“It’s really slow rolling on the applicant side,” a Wake County official told The News & Observer on Thursday. “I thought it would be much further along.”
This is in contrast to its Austin, TX facility. After a 2018 announcement of a second campus in the area, the company broke ground within a month of signing the deal. And, it has already started an expansion to that facility.
Apple’s North Carolina plan is massive
The proposed Triangle campus, when complete, will span 281 acres. It will include commercial offices, a parking deck, streets, and a central utility plant.
The campus, built on four parcels of undeveloped woodland near Cary and Morrisville, is expected to cost $552 million. Apple has requested approximately 700,000 square feet for office space, an additional 190,000 square feet for support structures, and almost 3,000 square feet for parking.
The initial phase of construction will see the erection of six buildings, possibly adding more structures in the future.
Apple has committed to employing at least 2,700 people at the campus within the next decade, which is expected to increase to 3,000 eventually. As of 2021, Apple is leasing an office building on the MetLife campus in Cary.
The company has an agreement with the state for a Job Development Investment Grant, which could provide Apple with more than $845 million in payroll tax relief through 2061, provided it meets its hiring and investment targets. Failure by Apple to generate a minimum of 126 new job opportunities in the state by the conclusion of 2023 could result in the company becoming ineligible for state incentives.
It’s not clear how many employees Apple has in the state right now. It is leasing office space at present, and the hiring targets are not reliant on the site being constructed.
Apple’s investment commitment to the state, totaling $905.4 million, includes the new Wake County site and the expansion of an Apple data center in Catawba County. Apple is not required to meet this investment commitment until the end of 2031 to avoid defaulting on its grant.
The company already operates a data center in the state, has solar farms, and several Apple Stores.