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Cupertino Approves New Apple Spaceship HQ

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the you'll-never-want-to-leave dept.

Apple 172

mrspoonsi writes with news that Apple's plan to raze the old HP headquarters and replace it with some kind of space ship is moving forward. From the article: "A little over two years since Steve Jobs presented his case for it and after the occasional setback, the Cupertino City Council has finally given Apple full approval to go ahead with its futuristic campus. In exchange, Apple has agreed to fork over more money to the city in the form of a reduced sales tax rebate — going forward, Cupertino will only give back 35 percent sales tax instead of the 50 percent it had previously. Indeed, as soon as Apple gets its final permits some time today, it can begin demolishing the former HP headquarters and start building its own."

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Wow. (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year ago | (#45472291)

"Under the new agreement, that rebate has been reduced to 35 percent, which based on 2012 tax revenues would mean the residents of Cupertino will pay Apple -- which recorded net sales of $156.5 billion during the last fiscal year, and has a cash hoard estimated at $100 billion -- only $4.4 million to stick around. It would have been $6.2 million under the old agreement. That's an extra $1.8 million for Cupertino, a city with only $51.4 million in projected general fund revenues this year, according to figures reported in the Los Angeles Times."

Really Apple Cupertino gave you a tax break when things where not going well for you. Now you are doing well you are still getting a 4.4 million dollar kickback! Come one and just pay your taxes. You would increase the general fund by around 8%.
AKA just do the right thing.

Re:Wow. (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45472355)

this is truly perplexing.

what's the rationale behind giving them benefits? would they move away if they didn't? unlikely, really.

No they would not move away! (5, Funny)

Dareth (47614) | about a year ago | (#45472511)

They are building a space ship so they can "fly away" if the city doesn't cooperate. Read the bloody article!

Re:No they would not move away! (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#45472821)

They are building a space ship so they can "fly away" if the city doesn't cooperate.

They don't need to fly. They can walk. The next city (Sunnyvale) is about 200 meters from their current headquarters. Both Santa Clara and San Jose are within three miles.

Apple is in a strong negotiating position. Personally, I think courts should strike down these special tax deals as a violation of the equal protection clause [wikipedia.org] . For the cities, it is a prisoner's dilemma anyway, and they would better off if the practice was made illegal.

Re:No they would not move away! (0, Flamebait)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#45473609)

I think courts should strike down these special tax deals as a violation of the equal protection clause.

Considering the courts have said it's perfectly legal for the government to force people to hand over their money to private companies or have the money extracted from their bank accounts, I can't see a scenario where these same courts would say it's illegal for a community to put taxpayers on the hook for the lost taxes.

Re:No they would not move away! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#45473703)

What does the equal protection clause have anything to do to whether a city can negotiate deals with individuals or corporations?

Re:No they would not move away! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45474073)

> equal protection...deals with individuals or corporation

Because the city is taking money at gun point from one group to give to another. That doesn't much sound like they're treating the two parties equally. In the city where I'm from, the city stole several houses from their owners to give to Boeing. My great-aunt was shaken-up for years after having cops with machine guns in black uniforms and masks crash through her sliding glass door. Is this the sort of unequal treatment you're defending?

A more recent equivalent action is the federal government forcing you to give money to one of a select few insurance companies. At least in that horrible case every person is being treated equally horribly.

Re:No they would not move away! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45473923)

Companies will still flee, it's just that voting with their feet is their only option. Who wants to plan when the local government can lie out its ass, then jack up taxes on you to just under what would drive you away? With no way to get the city to contract with you over certain tax rates...

Re: No they would not move away! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#45473567)

Damn Terrans, always moving their buildings around when the going gets tough!

Re:Wow. (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about a year ago | (#45472625)

what's the rationale behind giving them benefits? would they move away if they didn't? unlikely, really

Exactly. Where else in the USA could they possibly find a lower cost of living?

Oh yeah, pretty much everywhere. (Median home price? 1.4 mil [trulia.com] )

Cost of living not really a big factor (2)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45473961)

Exactly. Where else in the USA could they possibly find a lower cost of living?

Not really a big consideration. As long as the employees can get to work the company doesn't really need to care much. The company gets tax benefits because if Apple moves out of Cupertino (which they easily could do) then Cupertino gets zero tax revenue and might even lose additional spillover revenues from restaurants, hotels, etc. Last time I checked some revenue is better than no revenue.

Re:Wow. (3, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#45472721)

I think its called "tribute". Its an acknowledgement that apple, not the municipal government is the most powerful entity in city, and they call the shots.

Thats how corporate America works.

Re:Wow. (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45472745)

they're not going to move cross country, but they could easily build their spaceship in sunnyvale or los altos or anywhere. PA and Menlo Park are pretty full-up right now. I couldn't see them in SF, and the whole city is going to burst from Twitter and others, there's no way they could absorb an Apple campus.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473157)

The could move across the planet. I hear property is still relatively cheap in China, and there aren't as many pesky regulations and by-laws to deal with. There is of course the small matter of getting visas for all the employees, but it's amazing how simple such matters become when large piles of money are put on the table.

Re:Wow. (5, Insightful)

InsightfulPlusTwo (3416699) | about a year ago | (#45472789)

A few observations:

The city is not paying Apple anything; it is actually increasing their tax burden from the formerly reduced state. Thus the article, which says "the residents of Cupertino will pay [Apple] only $4.4 million to stick around" is misleading and deliberately inflammatory.

The agreement was approved unanimously by the board. They think they are getting a good deal by having the world's largest corporation build a giant, permanent, iconic headquarters there and I agree. Any city in America would be happy to have them. Just think of all the tourists who are going to show up from around the world just to see this new building.

The city gets a lot of benefits from Apple employees living and working there aside from direct taxation, in terms of personal living expenses and a well-educated populace, as mentioned elsewhere in the article.

They can always renegotiate the tax breaks later if they really need the money.

Re:Wow. (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year ago | (#45473973)

For Apple 4.4 million is nothing. Yes it is going to increase it's tax burden but it's tax burden is still less than many small companies in the city. Think of it this way. How valuable would the PR be for Apple if they said," when Apple was not doing well the city helped us with tax breaks, we are doing great now so we are giving them back to the city."

Re:Wow. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45474227)

Most Apple employees do NOT live in Cupertino. The problem is Cupertino is a company town and they let themselves be put in this situation. You do not see this with the other surrounding cities other than Mountain View (with Google).

Nobody will be able to see the building, it will be restricted from street side views by trees and there will be a security fence around the perimeter.

Re:Wow. (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#45472801)

what's the rationale behind giving them benefits?

Politics and business is the primary business of politics

Re:Wow. (3, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about a year ago | (#45472811)

Let's see, the city gets thousands of Apple employees moved in. Construction alone is expected to net the city almost $40 million. And then there are recurring property taxes for a property that will now be worth billions. The city also gets a shabby built-up area converted to something that is 80% landscaped and environmentally friendly.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473045)

this is truly perplexing.

what's the rationale behind giving them benefits?

The rationale is that tens of thousands of highly-paid Apple workers come to Cupertino every day. These tens of thousands of employees buy food and goods at Cupertino stores and restaurants. Some of them buy homes in Cupertino and pay property taxes as well. Apple also attracts dozens of smaller suppliers, who also pay taxes. And in the immediate term, building a new headquarters will mean thousands of construction workers will be coming into town every day and buying gas and gatorade for the next few years.

The article makes it sound like the city is "giving" Apple the tax money that Apple is, in fact, paying to the city of Cupertino.

would they move away if they didn't? unlikely, really.

They don't have to move to Elbonia. There are probably a dozen municipalities within five miles that would fall all over themselves to cut a deal for the headquarters of one of the ten biggest companies on Earth. Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, even Mountain View would probably love to get that $4.4 million if Cupertino didn't want it.

A small percentage of millions of dollars is much better than a large percentage of bupkis.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473145)

what's the rationale behind giving them benefits? would they move away if they didn't? unlikely, really.

They might move to a nearby city. They're already moving to other cities, so I don't think it would be a stretch for them to move their headquarters as well.

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21493863/apple-makes-big-push-into-sunnyvale

Re: Wow. (2)

sudon't (580652) | about a year ago | (#45473385)

It's not just Apple, not by a long shot. Corporate welfare is really out of control, with states like Texas devoting up to 50% of their budgets to it. Many, many corporations pay no taxes, and even receive land grants, and other freebies. As I read the blurb, the thing that amazed me was that Apple was paying taxes at all.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/12/01/us/government-incentives.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#45473437)

what's the rationale behind giving them benefits? would they move away if they didn't? unlikely, really.

Apple is Cupertino's largest taxpayer by far.

In fact, Apple SPECIFICALLY CHOSE the site for their new building - Cupertino had no land available otherwise (it was land from an old Sun/HP campus, IIRC). So Apple had a choice - it could build its new building in Cupertino, or it could put it somewhere else. Cupertino gives Apple a small tax break (they don't give Apple any money - Apple pays more than that amount in taxes to Cupertino annually) as a thank you for being loyal to Cupertino. And it's likely the board sees that the added revenue from employees being there (from construction and all that to the sheer number of extra employees) to more than make up for the loss (after all, those people need to eat, like to frequent bars, etc. and Apple is likely needing to purchase local service to maintain the building and grounds and all that).

In fact, any large corporation wanting to put down roots can easily negotiate with the host city on benefits. I would expect Redmond to give Microsoft breaks in exchange for being in Redmond (though Microsoft's campus straddles the border, so there's a building that's actually odd because it has to be built to two different building codes as it straddles Redmond and a neighbouring city).

Likewise, Mountain View probably gives Google a few breaks as well.

And these cities are all known because of these big companies - anytime anyone mentions Redmond, well, up comes Microsoft. Cupertino has Apple, and Mountain View has Google.

Apple may not pull up its roots from Cupertino, but they can certainly decide to build in a neighboring city if they have to. The fact they're choosing Cupertino is really a preference for them - being nostalgic and all that. Hell, given all the difficulties Apple encountered, one may wonder if it was worth all that effort to build in Cupertino and not just build it nearby somewhere else.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473865)

Perplexing? You really don't understand why they do this?

Cupertino: "Sorry Apple, we're not giving you any benefits to locate your headquarters here. Fuck you. In fact, we're enacting a special Apple Punitive Clause, where we'll flog Tim Cook and Jony Ive on the town commons once per quarter, and you'll THANK US for the privilege of locating your SHITTY business here, and BEG to pay us more money."

SomeplaceCheaperAndInNeedofRevenue, NC: "Apple, we'll give you 100% rebate on taxes, property tax credits, and a huge pile of cash, hookers, and blow, if you just agree to continue expanding your operations here. We really need the commerce your highly paid engineers and managers will attract to our town, and since we're not penny-wise and pound-foolish like those chumps in Cupertino, we realize that giving you a small sales tax rebate will net us tens of millions of dollars in ancillary benefits from all of the OTHER income, sales, and property taxes we'll collect after you hire 5,000 new engineers here, and business build up to cater to them."

Apple: "Gee, maybe we should stop hiring in Cupertino, and expand our North Carolina facility."

This ain't rocket surgery, friend.

Some tax revenue better than none (2)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45473907)

what's the rationale behind giving them benefits? would they move away if they didn't? unlikely, really.

Actually it would be relatively easy for Apple to relocate. They don't have to go across the country though they probably could if needed. They could just go to the next town over. The rationale is that some tax revenue is better than no tax revenue. Furthermore there is additional tax and income benefit to other local businesses like restaurants, hotels, etc.

Re:Wow. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472367)

Unfortunately, this is what capitalism gets you. Apple are able to choose to move to a different city, so they will let the cities compete to offer the best tax deal.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472449)

Unfortunately, this is what capitalism gets you. Apple are able to choose to move to a different city, so they will let the cities compete to offer the best tax deal.

No, that's what cronyism gets you. Your straw-man anti-capitalist arguments show you for a fool.

Re:Wow. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45472637)

Apple are able to choose to move to a different city

And you actually think they'd do that for a few bucks in taxes? Forget elsewhere in SV - everywhere there is expensive. So they'd jeopardize their enormous revenue stream by moving and losing many of their people, for the sake of a few bucks in taxes? I don't think so, but that's the kind of stuff that idiots and cronies on city councils believe in. Whenever companies threaten the "we'll hold our breath until we turn blue, and move our facilities if you don't give us a tax break" crap, it's almost always one of two cases. Commonly, they have no intention of moving no matter what, but make empty threats to try and save a few bucks. Other times they're going to move no matter what, but play this silly game so they can justify the move.

This whole thing is particularly absurd when a company has facilities in an expensive area, like SV or Manhattan. If a company didn't think it was advantageous to have a facility in such an area, despite the expense, they'd move no matter what kind of tax break they got. Taxes are far from the only, or even the major expense, in expensive areas. Check out the price of office space in midtown or downtown Manhattan, not to mention the salary differential they have to offer people to work there, and tell me if taxes are a make or break issue.

Re:Wow. (3, Interesting)

N1AK (864906) | about a year ago | (#45473019)

The issue with this argument is that it sounds all well and good until you consider it for a few seconds. Apple gets a rebate now that it is a billion dollar company but if a new 'Apple' was starting out today they'd have to pay the full rate of tax. Big companies are pitting cities up against each other in the prisoner dilemma to keep a tax rebate which means that taxes on everything else have to be higher to make up for the discount.

Apple makes a huge profit margin and pays very little tax. There's no reason at all why society benefits from giving them a rebate they really don't need; in fact it hurts society by increasing tax on others. The only reason they can have a rebate is that they've got big enough they can threaten municipalities with oblivion if they leave which is a pretty shitty situation imo.

Re:Wow. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45473089)

The issue with this argument is that it sounds all well and good until you consider it for a few seconds. Apple gets a rebate now that it is a billion dollar company but if a new 'Apple' was starting out today they'd have to pay the full rate of tax.

The argument is still good because, as I stated, SV is expensive no matter what the tax breaks.

Re:Wow. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45474237)

The argument is still good because, as I stated, SV is expensive no matter what the tax breaks.

No it's not, because cost of living is irrelevant. Large companies pull the same shit against cities everywhere, regardless of how expensive living there is. (For example, Atlanta has a low cost of living, but the Atlanta Braves are in the midst of moving out to the suburbs due to this kind of subsidy BS.) If this kind of behavior is wrong anywhere, then it's equally wrong everywhere.

a few hundred meters for $80 million? YES! (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#45473219)

Might they move a few hundred meters across city lines to save $4 million X 20 years = $80 million. Yes!

This is very visible where I live, in Bryan / College Station, Texas. A large portion of both cities is within a mile of the border between them. Driving through the area, it's obvious which city has traditionally been friendly to businesses and which hasn't. The College Station side has new towers being built a couple hundred feet from the empty, decaying buildings in Bryan. A few years ago Bryan figured it out and is now attracting new investment. The downtown Bryan area has switched from hookers and gangs to restaurants and boutiques, but most of the city is still suffering from the fact that businesses preferred College Station for so many years.

Re:Wow. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#45473759)

But Apple doesn't have to stay anywhere near SV or the state at all. They could move their HQ to a different state like Boeing did. For example, Texas doesn't need to give Apple any deals; the taxes there will be much lower than what they pay in Cupertino even with the rebates.

Re:Wow. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45473179)

Yeah, if only it were possible to have a system that discouraged "one big producer" that everyone must depend on and worship, and instead encouraged many smaller, competing producers... oh wait - that's actually how the world is, and it's government interference that allows and creates such monopolies in the first place!

WARN: There is another system (3, Funny)

RDW (41497) | about a year ago | (#45472715)

Here in the UK we cut out the middleman, and just buy these flying saucer tech headquarters directly from taxpayers' money:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Communications_Headquarters [wikipedia.org]

Then they spy on us.

Re:WARN: There is another system (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45472767)

holy shit what kind of freaky building is that?? If you're business is surreptitious spying, wouldn't you want to keep it on the down low? that place looks like Dr Evil or SCEPTRE works there.

Re:WARN: There is another system (2)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about a year ago | (#45473415)

no more freaky looking than the pentagon. And when the kids go out to recess they can't be seen from the road.

Re:WARN: There is another system (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45473529)

fair enough. they are truly sister agencies. it would be cool if they were on exactly opposite sides of the globe, and there was a secret project to realign the magnetic poles so the magnetic axis passed through both buildings. ...profit!

Re:WARN: There is another system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473667)

If you're business is surreptitious spying

Get your GED, son.

Re:WARN: There is another system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473819)

That place looks like he anus that the intergalactic spacemen will put the probe when they want to understand government.

Re:Wow. (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about a year ago | (#45472847)

I don't see you volunteering to pay more taxes, why should Apple? If the city is going to offer it, why in the world would they decline it?

Re:Wow. (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year ago | (#45472937)

More than that, the city is giving Apple less rebates going forward than they are now. Apple is now going to be paying more taxes.

Re:Wow. (2)

N1AK (864906) | about a year ago | (#45473063)

Apple aren't volunteering to pay more taxes; they are using their size to threaten local government to give them a tax break or face financial collapse if Appele leave. A small business or individual doesn't have the size to get this by threatening so they are forced to pay full tax (which includes making up for Apple's discount). Thus you have an area that is subsidising a massively wealthy company by increased taxation on small businesses.

STFU statist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472907)

Tax is theft. Apple is in the right to avoid paying any form of extortion.

YES (1)

clickson (2887959) | about a year ago | (#45472295)

Hoping that they will finally fly away?

Wait.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472299)

So they're building a futuristic structure, employing people in the area, and taking over a building that wasn't being used- and they're bribing the city council to do this with the sales tax thing?

Fuck, someone with business sense could have them upping the rebates. Apple is getting too fat and lazy for it's own good.

but (1)

Jmac217 (3006299) | about a year ago | (#45472303)

Is it really worth it?

Re:but (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472469)

The voters of Cupertino think so? Not sure how else on would determine worth. I've lived in the bay area since 1995. Cupertino has gone from a nice suburb to a VERY wealthy suburb in that time. There's also tourism of all things. I'm not kidding. Tourists actually come to Cupertino just to stand in front of the sign at the Apple campus (the current one) and have their picture taken. Oh and there's an apple store there. Open to the public. On the apple campus. I would assume the sales tax collected there also goes to Cupertino.

These sorta tax deals always sound ridiculous. Long term though they often play out quite well to the hosting city. Microsoft has a tax deal with the city of Redmond. The city I live in, Mountain View, has given Google all sorts of incentives. It's hard to argue with success.

Re:but (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45472741)

The city I live in, Mountain View, has given Google all sorts of incentives. It's hard to argue with success.

On the contrary, it's easy to argue the counterfactual. If Mountain View hadn't given Google tax breaks, would Google have moved to an inexpensive part of SV? Where is that exactly? Or would they have left SV altogether? There are many reasons companies have facilities in SV, but low cost isn't one of them. All the tax breaks in the world wouldn't make SV a cheap place to do business. If cost saving was their main interest, they'd move no matter what.

Here in the NY area I see the same thing in Manhattan all the time. Manhattan makes SV look cheap, yet there's loads of business there. Why? Hint: it's not to save on facilities costs.

Re:but (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45472799)

Is it really worth it?

To Apple shareholders? Probably not, but that's what companies with too much money do. They get away with it because it's a small part of their income, even if it doesn't do anything but satisfy some egos.

Walmart is an interesting contrast. Whatever mixed feelings you may have about them, it's interesting to see Walmart's world headquarters. It's a one story brick building that they bought cheap many years ago, and makes most factories look ostentatious. Yet sales reps from all over the world travel to cosmopolitan Bentonville Arkansas, and would probably sell their grandmothers to get into that building.

Steve Jobs talking about the campus (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45472323)

Here's a presentation by Steve Jobs [youtube.com] from a couple years ago showing the initial plans for the spaceship campus. According to the video title it's apparently the last recorded Jobs video footage. Good luck to Apple finishing the building during the following years, it's certainly a cool plan.

Re:Steve Jobs talking about the campus (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45472393)

You say, "spaceship campus"; I see, "walled garden"... No really, Look again.

Re:Steve Jobs talking about the campus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472613)

No, really, Look again

Re:Steve Jobs talking about the campus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472623)

He says "spaceship campus"; I see nothing capable of interplanetary flight or even just surviving in low earth orbit.

Re:Steve Jobs talking about the campus (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472645)

What are you talking about?

It's in a very low geosynchronous orbit.

give me, if not Pastafarians, at least Raelians (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#45472641)

Looks like the MindHead world headquarters.
Shouldn't they all already have put on their purple Nikes and drank their poisoned Kool-Aid and burned the place down when their Master ascended?

Re:Steve Jobs talking about the campus (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#45472663)

Then it's a pretty good demonstration that a walled garden isn't a bad thing.

Re:Steve Jobs talking about the campus (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45473393)

Another name for walled garden is "prison".

Re:Steve Jobs talking about the campus (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#45473665)

No, a walled garden and a prison are different things. It's like you've never seen even photos of wither of them.

A walled garden is tended by a skilled gardener, encouraging beautiful flowers and strong trees, and making sure the weeds are pulled up as soon as they appear. People come to visit through choice, because it's such a nice place to be, due to the labours of that gardener.

A prison is stark, uncomfortable and ugly. People are put there against their will. No one would choose to be there.

Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (3, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#45472349)

Sign that a company is jumping or is about to jump the shark: Build a huge lavish HQ.

Although, Google didn't mind when SGI did it.. they got a great deal on the real estate.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472463)

Sign that a company is jumping or is about to jump the shark: Build a huge lavish HQ.

Although, Google didn't mind when SGI did it.. they got a great deal on the real estate.

Similarly, when people build skyscrapers (10+ stories) it's usually a sign that monetary policy is too loose and interest rates are too low.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (2)

jchawk (127686) | about a year ago | (#45472555)

If it's mostly glass and steel it's probably not as expensive as you think it is. I work for a fortune 200 company and we just completed a new HQ campus. It looks dramatically more expensive then it really cost to build and makes perfect financial sense given trying to lease the amount of space we needed house all the employees.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

dj245 (732906) | about a year ago | (#45472673)

If it's mostly glass and steel it's probably not as expensive as you think it is. I work for a fortune 200 company and we just completed a new HQ campus. It looks dramatically more expensive then it really cost to build and makes perfect financial sense given trying to lease the amount of space we needed house all the employees.

Does your HQ have straight walls and 90 degree corners? Because this thing is round as can be. There might be some savings in having 1 round wall section be the same as all the other round wall sections, but building curves are dramatically more expensive than noncurved walls.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#45473455)

Not really. The hard part is making the form. Once it's made right - how many sections do you want?

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (4, Interesting)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year ago | (#45472731)

I think the ticket price for the building is about $5 billion, it may rise as the project goes ahead -- there's lots of custom curved glass panels and such involved. With 14,000 workers expected to use the building that works out at about 350,000 dollars each. Office space in Cupertino leases at about $35/sq. ft./year so for the proposed upfront cost they could lease 500 square feet for each employee for twenty years and not have to pay for the structural maintenance, landscaping etc.

It's a pretty way to use up money, I suppose.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#45472965)

Office space in Cupertino leases at about $35/sq. ft./year so for the proposed upfront cost they could lease 500 square feet for each employee for twenty years and not have to pay for the structural maintenance, landscaping etc.

True. But the lowered cost of leasing comes with the increased costs of having employees scattered all over hell and back.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year ago | (#45473079)

A conventional Todos-Santos style glass brick would cost half the price or less of the current design, be easier to heat and cool, use less ground footprint and it would be more convenient to get around in with elevators, walkways etc. even with the same floor space per drone.

It's amazing what you can do with other people's money though, isn't it?

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473361)

This is probably one of the few ways a giant corporation gives any money back today since they hide it offshore and through loopholes. Construction jobs and side businesses supporting them need to milk as much as they can.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (2)

pioneerX (830117) | about a year ago | (#45472631)

One of Parkinson's Laws is that the demise of a corporation follows not long after construction of headquarters.

Edifice Complex (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#45473999)

One of Parkinson's Laws is that the demise of a corporation follows not long after construction of headquarters.

It's called having an edifice complex.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45472759)

Sign that a company is jumping or is about to jump the shark: Build a huge lavish HQ.

I get that Apple is sitting on Scrooge McDuck levels of cash and building the new HQ isn't that big of a deal for them.

What astonishes me is that they have all this cash and they don't seem to be inventing anything new or creating any new markets. That's the bigger sign of distress at the company.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

Conanymous Award (597667) | about a year ago | (#45472837)

"[...]they don't seem to be inventing anything new or creating any new markets."

Isn't this what people have been saying about Apple for the last 30+ years or so?

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45473805)

Isn't this what people have been saying about Apple for the last 30+ years or so?

People who haven't noticed the iPod or iPhone, I guess. The iPhone was launched, what, seven years ago?

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

Conanymous Award (597667) | about a year ago | (#45473919)

And the iPod was launched, what, six or seven years before the iPhone? And we all remember the reaction to it here...

People nowadays expect Apple to 'invent' something revolutionary every goddamn year and say stuff like "they don't seem to be inventing anything new or creating any new markets". My point is, they weren't that busy with it before either. And they very rarely invent in the proper sense of the word, even though they do innovate.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45473997)

And the iPod was launched, what, six or seven years before the iPhone?

At a time when Apple was struggling to make a profit, much less being the largest capitalized company in the world.

And we all remember the reaction to it here...

Hey, I bought one - I had firewire devices everywhere.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#45472857)

What astonishes me is that they have all this cash and they don't seem to be inventing anything new or creating any new markets. That's the bigger sign of distress at the company.

As opposed to........... ? Which other consumer product company that invents something new ever year?

Creating consumer products is a matter of evolving and innovating, not inventing. And Apple is one of best in the world at it right now.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45473869)

As opposed to........... ? Which other consumer product company that invents something new ever year?

Lots of companies do, but the point is that Apple is as large as a hundred smaller consumer products companies, and they haven't really done anything very unique in about seven years. If people want to make an argument that the iPad isn't just a big iPhone, fine (it is, but fine), but by their size alone, they should have several new and interesting products each year - unless their size itself is a hindrance to innovation.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#45474065)

Lots of companies do

I note the lack of any specific examples. As I expected.

On the plus side I see you've changed "inventing" to "innovation". For sure Apple innovates more than most, and possibly all, consumer product companies.

Again, if you disagree, give examples. How often do Samsung, Sony and Acer for example come up with radically new products.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472889)

What astonishes me is that they have all this cash and they don't seem to be inventing anything new or creating any new markets.

This is Apple. They're not known for being open about what they're working on.

(In fact, there are two persistent rumors about what Apple is working on: a wearable "smart watch" thing, and a "smart TV" (Those probably sound pretty underwhelming, just like building an MP3 player did in 2001, a Blackberry competitor did in 2007 and a Tablet PC did in 2010. But it seems to work for them.)

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472987)

1977 Apple II
1984 Macintosh
1998 iMac
2001 iPod
2007 iPhone
2010 iPad

Apple never invented a new category/market every single fucking year. Apple haters are soooo boring. No idea what they are talking about. Most companies do no even invent a single new device category in their entire existance. Apple did it multiple times and yet the fucktards moan that a "miracle" is not happening every year.

What's wrong you??

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473135)

Because it's public knowledge what one of the most secretive companies in the entirety of human history is working on.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

Camembert (2891457) | about a year ago | (#45472951)

Why so cynical? I think it looks great, it will likely be talked about for many decades to come, just like Calatrava's designs. As headquarters go, this is impressive.

Re:Apple has JUMPED THE SHARK (1)

Macrat (638047) | about a year ago | (#45473227)

Sign that a company is jumping or is about to jump the shark: Build a huge lavish HQ.

Although, Google didn't mind when SGI did it.. they got a great deal on the real estate.

Apple actually has revenue and cash in the bank.

What do you say about a small company like LinkedIn putting up brand new buildings instead of just moving into existing vacant buildings in the area.

nothing new (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472413)

It is the pentagon, but thinner and with rounded corners.

Re:nothing new (2)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#45472639)

It looks more like GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA.

maybe some earth themes like orchards etc... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472459)

apple a day sort of stuff during the hard times anyway

Oh goody... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472473)

Does that mean they'll be leaving earth sometime soon?

Not a spaceship at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472507)

Actually, my first impression of the architecture was a 1970s-style multi-platter removable disk pack. How trendy is that?

We've got to build a Death Star (0)

Leejjon (2342476) | about a year ago | (#45472601)

The world is fucking turning to shit The earth don't stand a chance Hurricane typhoon will destroy the city We've got to clean up the skies and recycle We've got to stop the overpopulation But most important of all We've got to build a Death Star Tenacious D predicted this!

Re:We've got to build a Death Star (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45472747)

Whatever you're smoking, either stop or take a more.

So, the want to work... (1)

ClosedEyesSeeing (1278938) | about a year ago | (#45472737)

in a giant TRON identity disk?

Ozymandias (1)

grepppo (1592163) | about a year ago | (#45472781)

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

First floating city corporation (1)

Carnivore24 (467239) | about a year ago | (#45473121)

Once built it will lift off and roam the Earth, hovering over the oceans, able to evade all tax laws.

Re:First floating city corporation (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#45473359)

That is interesting. Yea Yea Sealand I a know....

But Apple certainly does have the financial resources it would take to build their own island in international waters, floating or fixed to the sea floor in some way.

What is stopping them from 'building' their own country?

Beautiful, but somewhat disappointing (2)

CBM (51233) | about a year ago | (#45473283)

The actual design of the building is beautiful and marvelous.

But I have to say that the entire design of the campus is a little disappointing. The buildings on campus are completely isolated from the rest of the city of Cupertino. The campus will be separated by a new security wall/fence surrounding the perimeter that will prevent all unauthorized entry, and most of the buildings will be hidden behind substantial landscaping. The plan also demolishes a city street that will disturb local automotive and bicycle routes.

Apple workers will get to appreciate the beauty of the architecture, and the calmness of the natural park-like setting, but the public will have to gaze from a distance.

I think Apple had a chance here to integrate the campus more closely with the city, and the city had an opportunity to ask for more of a community feeling than an ivory tower feeling. What if the park-like portions of the campus were an actual public park? The public could appreciate the architectural wonder and feel that the campus was at least a little bit a part of their city. What if the campus had more walking-friendly routes to and from the rest of the city, to encourage interaction between workers and local businesses? Facebook did this, by basically buying a little mini-city (http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/Inside+Facebook%27s+headquarters/G3949) which integrates work and life elements. You'd get a better city, quite frankly.

Not HP headquarters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45473375)

It was an HP campus, but it wasn't HP headquarters, which is in Palo Alto.

does that mean commuting on Homestead... (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about a year ago | (#45473485)

...will be really bad? Other day southbound 280 in Cupertino area had couple accidents so I took Homestead and it was worse. I imagine Stevens Creek was terrible as well. I heard Apple has 10,000 employees scattered about in numerous buildings throughout Cupertino but here they will be gathered in one location. Agg, traffic in that area may be so bad cars will not work, faster to walk.

But then I remember back in 20th century when HP was ran by Bill and Dave, and those buildings slated for the chute had the best engineers ever working in them. Test equipment that was premium, much of that stuff from back then still sells high value even when it is all beat up with 20 year old cal stickers.

It's a moonshot (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about a year ago | (#45473519)

I believe Apple should be lauded for trying to build "The best office building in the world".
If the building comes out as expected, it will be a landmark like the Empire State Building (or the (collapsed) World Trade Center (before it collapsed)).

Yes, it could all be had cheaper - but OTOH, it's still better than paying out huge bonuses to the execs or buying more corporate jets. There are a thousand ways to waste money. This way, at least the public gets something in return.

Re:It's a moonshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45474287)

> World Trade Center (before it collapsed)

Don't you mean knocked down? Or are you one of those truthers? You hate Bush so you just want him to be responsible for causing them to fall. You people are nuts.

Why is this interesting? (1)

kaka.mala.vachva (1164605) | about a year ago | (#45473967)

Why is this news for geeks? Is there something technically advanced in their new building? Why should we care? Or is the word "Apple" enough to warrant front page on Slashdot?
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