Just a few months after opening its 2.8 million-square-foot circular headquarters campus in Cupertino, CA, Apple Inc. today announced plans to build a third U.S. corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers as part of a $30 billion capital-spending program over the next five years.
Apple said in a release that it will announce the location of the new campus, which will “initially house technical support for customers,” later this year, drawing immediate comparisons to Amazon’s search for its HQ2 headquarters campus, which drew 238 proposals from states, provinces and territories across North America.
The company provided no further details about the potential location or size of the campus, or whether Apple will seek existing space or build new facilities. Apple also did not specific whether it will, like Amazon, use a request for proposals (RFP) process to identify the new location.
The iPhone maker owns or leases more than 6.5 million square feet of office space in the U.S., according to CoStar information, ranging in size from its new $5 billion Apple Park “spaceship” headquarters campus, which opened in Cupertino last year, to the former headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop totaling about 850,000 square feet, which now serves as office and research and development space. Apple also occupies several buildings totaling more than 1 million square feet at a technical support campus in Austin. In its latest major absorption of office space, Apple leased more than 200,000 square feet at two locations in Culver City on L.A.’s West Side.
The company expects to make about $38 billion in repatriated corporate tax payments to take advantage of a tax break under the new tax law approved by President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress, the largest payment by a company to date under the legislation. Combined with the planned capital expenditures and investments in U.S. manufacturing, the tax payment will account for about $75 billion of Apple’s direct contribution, the company said.
The company will spend about one-third, or $10 billion, of its expanded capital expenditures on data centers across the country to support its App Store, iCloud and Apple Music services, adding to its existing network of data centers and co-location facilities in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and a recently announced project in Iowa. Apple today is breaking ground on a new facility in downtown Reno that will support its existing Nevada facilities.
In total, the iPhone manufacturer on Wednesday estimated its direct contribution to the U.S. economy over the next five years would be $350 billion, including about $55 billion this year, as a result of the combination of new investments and ongoing business with its U.S.-based vendors, suppliers and manufacturers.
Elected and economic development officials in several states and U.S. metros immediately vowed to put themselves in the running for the new campus, presuming Apple has not already made a decision.
“I don’t know what Apple’s looking for, but what ever it is, we’re going to go compete and we’re going to put our best foot forward,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a news conference after Wednesday’s regular city council meeting.
Emanuel, noting that the Windy City has led the U.S. in corporate relocations for four straight years in part due to housing affordability, good transportation system and proximity to high-quality universities, said many employees in coastal markets where Apple, Google and other tech companies are headquartered “cannot afford to work or live where they are.”
“Companies are realizing that where they are is not a long-term strategy, and Chicago has a lot to offer,” Emanuel said.