Apple has its eye on two east coast states as it decides where to build its newest campus. The company is looking at plots of land in Northern Virginia and in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP). However, it’s the latter that is being tipped as Apple’s favorite of the two potential sites.
RTP is the name of the technological breeding ground in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. A number of major companies take up residence in RTP including SAS, Cisco, IBM, and Lenovo (which has its U.S. headquarters in Morrisville, NC), with companies feeding off fresh talent from nearby Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NC State University.
Total investment by Apple in the state of NC for the new campus is estimated to be between $1.5 to $2 billion dollars upon completion. In addition, the average salary for Apple employees in the area – which would include research and development positions — would be roughly $130,000 according to WRAL News.
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly met with NC Governor Roy Cooper when the former was in Durham to give a commencement address at Duke University. Cook earned his MBA from Duke University in 1988 and is quite familiar with the area. Governor Cooper and the State General Assembly are currently putting together an incentive package that includes 30 years of [county] property tax abatements and adjustments to employee withholding taxes (among other things) that are favorable to Apple.
It is reported that Apple’s move into the RTP will occur in stages, with the company initially leasing office space for roughly 1,000 employees in Cary. In the meantime, the company will begin construction on the new RTP campus, which will sit on up to 300 acres of land. The current proposal calls for a bare minimum of 3,000 new jobs at the new Apple facility, with an expansion to between 5,000 to 10,000 jobs once the project is fully complete. This increase in Apple’s employee headcount would go a long way towards fulfilling the company’s goal of investing $30 billion in the U.S. and creating upwards of 20,000 new jobs over the next five years.
“We’re narrowing the site selection for a new U.S. campus, and we look forward to sharing more information on that later this year,” Cook said during Apple’s call with investors on April 29th.
Apple already has a datacenter in NC, which is located in rural Maiden, NC. It is reported that the company is committed to investing another $1 billion to expand operations at this facility.