Writing in the New York Times recently, Kathy Chin Leong said: “Things change when a spaceship comes to town,”
She was, of course, referring to Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino. Tourists saunter past taking pictures with their iPhones, new companies move in, and property prices go higher and higher.
Apple’s new Cupertino base, the core of which is a four storey, 2.8-million-square-foot ring that cost $5 billion to build and can be seen from space, is still not yet complete, although the first workers have already started arriving.
The full staff cohort of around 12 000 will arrive and commence working onsite a few months from now. But the construction of the HQ, a 175-acre site officially known as Apple Park, has already reshaped the whole area.
Leong states that in Sunnyvale, a town just opposite, 95 developments are already in the planning stages. Deanna J. Santana, the city manager, said that this is the first time she had experienced so much activity here. Both residents and city officials agree they’ve never seen anything similar before.
It is even starting to attract tourists, Leong reports. Visitors take pictures of the spaceship-like construction from the streets, while television helicopters hover overhead. Amateur photographers have been spotted trying to obtain permission from homeowners to stand in their driveways and operate their drones in an attempt to get a closer view of Apple Park.
Leong adds that Cupertino and Sunnyvale, like various other towns in Silicon Valley, have enjoyed a protracted property boom as the technology industry continued to grow. According to residents and real estate agents, property prices in the area have increased significantly.
She concludes: “A three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,400-square-foot ranch-style house that cost $750,000 in 2011 has doubled in price.”