Could Apple still build a campus in North Carolina?


We live in a highly digitalized world in which smart technologies are of utmost importance. More importantly, tech companies have overtaken the world. Those have managed to appear at the top tier of the global giants, becoming more significant than oil and gas corporations or transcontinental conglomerates. They keep rising as the new generations, notably the Gen Z, are keen on tech innovations and digital devices. 

To really understand the scale of the digital transformation throughout the recent years, we should observe the aspects of our daily lives. From banking to purchasing various goods and services, everything is now done through the internet. There is practically no need to visit a physical branch to transfer money or use various financial services. Besides, using different smart devices, individuals can now perform practically any activity from shopping to ordering a cab. Under such circumstances, the success of tech companies should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Despite the competition rules and an extremely well-saturated and diverse market both in the United States and beyond, there are still a few companies that dominate the entire market. Notably, those are Apple and Microsoft, along with others like Amazon. This group of corporations pushes for innovation and novelty on a regular basis, coming up with products and services that go viral overnight. 

Apple, which started in a garage, is one of the biggest tech companies in the world now. The corporation’s annual revenue exceeds $260 billion, a landmark milestone in the development of the company.  Now, despite the global economic and social turmoil Apple stocks are at an all-time high. The company keeps growing, achieving new heights, and releasing innovative products that come with the Apple standard. The corporation is present all around the world, with its flagship iPhones being sold in every country on earth. Now Apple wants to expand even further, amidst the urgent need for more staff and office space. 

The Apple office culture 

It is a general 21st-century tendency that offices should be simply cool. More open spaces, entertainment areas and fun activities are brought to workspaces by the companies, in efforts to attract more young and innovative talent from all over the world. Offices are important and all companies acknowledge that. Besides the general trend, the visible pattern is that tech and innovative businesses have even more interesting offices. Companies like Microsoft and Facebook feature slides, soft floors and plenty of other fun activities inside of their office buildings. 

Apple is not one of such companies. The corporation prefers keeping the design solid, yet making it more spacious, environmentally friendly, and classy. The minimalistic design at Apple’s offices reflects the structure and characteristics of their products. Well-streamlined and carefully designed, vast, and welcoming spaces cost billions of dollars. Notably, Apple Park, corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California, cost the company an estimated sum of $5 billion. 

The new office in Austin and the North Carolina dream 

In November, Apple stated that the ground had been broken at the construction site of its newest grand office location in Austin Texas. It is a 133-acre property that will be able to accommodate 15,000 members of the Apple staff, making the location one of the largest on the company’s records. This came as a shock for many people that were following the news about Apple’s corporate office development. The thing is, that according to the earlier sources, Apple was considering North Carolina as their newest location. The amount of investment is just over $1 billion that would have been a significant boost for the State’s economy. Being the only major metropolitan area within the area, Charlotte could gain some major benefits from the project. The city could get more employment opportunities and international attention, potentially driving more firms into the state and Charlotte particularly. 

Apple’s announcement about the new location in Austin was particularly shocking for the governor of North Carolina. According to a number of valid sources, the state had considered the negotiations about Apple’s new location concluded. The deal had been reached and Apple was to build its $1 billion development in North Carolina. Even the potential location was leaked a number of times with all of the sources saying, that the new campus would be built on the ground of the Research Triangle Park close to Raleigh and Durham. 

So what happened with the deal? If the sources were correct, the construction of the new campus should have already kicked off on the premises of the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. According to the Senate Majority leader in the state, Harry Brown, the leaked information about the project could be to blame for the cancellation of the construction: “The December announcement seemed to surprise the governor and state legislative leaders, who hours later released a joint statement touting economic growth in North Carolina and pledging to keep doing everything we can. Apple and companies like it are very sensitive to information getting out, and there’s a possibility that could have hurt the negotiations with Apple a year ago.” 

What if Apple’s North Carolina campus will still become a reality? 

The hope is still here and on some very valid grounds. Shortly after the announcement of the Austin construction back in 2018, over 280 acres of land was purchased within the limits of the Research Triangle Park by ‘Acute Investments’. The latter is not a well-known company with a high profile, but the local attorney and the Apple lobbyist Bruce Thompson is listed on the deeds for the said property. WRAL later followed the story, reporting numerous times that the area is controlled by Apple. The State officials in North Carolina refuse to respond to the story, proving that there probably is more to this story than what we know.