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Apple paid couple $1.7 million to make way for data center

updated 10:40 am EDT, Tue October 5, 2010

Costs offset by government concessions

Apple paid a couple $1.7 million in order to secure just one more acre of land for its North Carolina data center, according to Bloomberg. Donnie and Kathy Fulbright originally paid $6,000 for the acre, which they occupied for more than 30 years. It took several offers from Apple before the Fulbrights could be persuaded to leave. "They told us to put a price on it and we did," says Kathy. The couple ultimately used the money to buy a 49-acre plot, a new house and a jacuzzi.

The initial land purchase for the data center may have cost Apple about $35,000 per acre. The center is believed to be worth about $1 billion in total, but some of the burden has been transferred over to local taxpayers. Apple is said to have received a 50 percent reduction in real property taxes, and an 85 percent reduction in individual property taxes; on top of this, the North Carolina legislature is reported to have approved $46 million in tax breaks.

In exchange Apple is expected to provide work for an area with unusually high unemployment. The region should gain 50 new core positions, another 250 auxiliary jobs and some 3,000 peripheral ones. The town of Maiden and Catawba County should together receive about $9.3 million in taxes and other revenue over the course of 10 years.

Apple has yet to explain what the data center might for. Speculation has held that it could be used to stream iTunes content, but it may also be necessary to keep up with the demands of selling music, video and app downloads. In any circumstance, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer has said that the center should be finished by the end of the year and subsequently put into use.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Lucky people

    The two were lucky they were the last ones, so they could hold out for more.

    Story is similar to when Walt Disney was shopping for swamplands near Orlando, Florida. He set up dozens of fake companies, buying out small pieces. It worked almost to the end. Before he was done, locals caught wind that it was Disney who was buying all that land, and their property value went up ten-fold. The company ended up paying as much for the last 10% of the land as for the previous 90%.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Could have backfired.

    In downtown Ottawa, there is a hotel that takes up almost the entire block. I say almost because in one corner sits a house - that house is there because the owner refused to sell to the hotel. She didn't need the money, so they couldn't just bid up and buy it.

    After the hotel was built, she sold her house to someone else at standard market prices and moved.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What can I say...

    ...it's good to be the king?

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    jacuzzi

    very important

  1. tortenteufel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    jacuzzi

    and a bottle of champagne !



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Good for them

    30 years is a long time... they were "lucky" and fortunate.

    Where I lived two brothers, tailors, held out for a much larger amount than did everyone else on the block. The city didn't buy, just built around them. After the project was completed, the two brothers died.

    This has happened in other places too. You can't always "guess" the mind of the seller OR the buyer.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Ungrateful b*stards

    "The couple ultimately used the money to buy a 49-acre plot, a new house and a jacuzzi"

    What - and no iPad?

  1. FireWire

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    backfire

    it happened in a small village close to where I was born. A gold mine bought a huge plot and expropriated everyone. Except one guy, that didn't want to sell. The mine offered him about 300 000$ and he didn't want to move out, because his mother lived there for many decades. Finally they went before the judge and the court awarded him only 30 000$

    the worst thing is that most people I know took the side of the mine! WTF! a foreign company will be making millions of dollars by using OUR ressources and one guy stands up agains Goliath and people take the rich capitalist's side?? They were even happy he lost in court, and were angry against him for delaying the project.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    That couple really got lucky to be

    sitting on the last acre. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than smart. I guess there's no chance of Apple building a data center in the middle of Queens, New York City, dammit. Heck, I'd take half, no, a third of what those people took and I'd ask for a lifetime supply of every product in the Apple lineup with AppleCare, of course and request that Steve come visit me on every birthday to tell me his Apple product plans.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Re: Could have backfired.

    In downtown Ottawa, there is a hotel that takes up almost the entire block. I say almost because in one corner sits a house - that house is there because the owner refused to sell to the hotel. She didn't need the money, so they couldn't just bid up and buy it.

    After the hotel was built, she sold her house to someone else at standard market prices and moved.


    And is somewhere in here the 'backfired' part?

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