updated 08:38 pm EST, Wed November 21, 2012
Ambitious construction plan meets red tape, regulations
[Update: the revised plans are now officially filed, and Apple's comments have been added] A revised timetable for the construction of Apple's futuristic "spaceship" new main campus, originally planned to break ground this year and be completed in 2015, reveals that the company may not be able to begin the project until 2014, but still hopes to complete the new company headquarters by 2016, only slightly delayed from its original goal.
The initial holdup is an environmental impact report, reports AppleInsider, that may not be completed until next summer even though it has been expedited already. Cupertino city manager David Brandt expressed optimism that, barring any unforeseen council issues or strong opposition from local residents, the company could break ground on the construction sometime in 2013, but "only if everything goes smoothly."
Apple has made very few changes to the plans since submitted them originally, but the new filing makes a small change in the way the project would be constructed so that earth from the existing 176-acre site would not have to be removed. While the change may help speed up the environmental impact report, by filing it so late in the year, an approval from the city council in early 2013 is unrealistic.
The only other change that has been made to the plans was to relocate an underground auditorium, one of a number of underground areas that supplement the above-ground design. The original drawings and plans were submitted personally by former CEO Steve Jobs to the Cupertino council in June of 2011.
Apple commented to AllThingsD on the delay, with Apple spokesperson Amy Bessette saying that "Apple Campus 2 will be a new home for our company and an important part of the lives of more than 12,000 Apple employees. With that in mind, we have approached this project with the same care and attention to detail we pay when designing any Apple product."
Incoming Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney noted that Apple had "recently changed internal management of the project," a likely reference to the executive shuffle that saw current Apple executives taking on new responsibilities while ousting both former iOS chief Scott Forstall and retail head John Browett. Who is directly in charge of the construction effort is not currently known.
The revised plans will be posted on the city's community development website after Thanksgiving, according to the director of the department, Aarti Shrivastava. Making the plans public, he said, will require that the city upgrade their web servers to handle the expected spike in visitors to the site.