updated 01:13 pm EDT, Thu October 3, 2013
Final go-ahead dependent on City Council vote
Cupertino's planning commission has voted to approve Apple's future "spaceship" campus, officially known as Campus 2. The vote took place on Wednesday, following a Tuesday night "shared study session" with public participation. Final approval is only waiting for a vote by the Cupertino City Council, which is expected to take place October 15th.
The main point of contention yesterday was Apple's plan to install three left turn lanes on the exit from the campus towards I280. The city was concerned that people leaving the campus could cause havoc as they try to get into the proper lanes for merging onto the highway. Apple and the commission agreed to a concession, under which both parties will monitor roads near the exit for traffic violations for nine months. A proposed fine for each violation, which would've cost Apple $500 per incident, was ultimately dismissed.
Apple's Director of Real Estate and Facilities, Dan Whisenhunt, reportedly briefed the commission on the campus, at one point playing a video with lead architect Norman Foster. During his talk, Whisenhunt referred to the former HP campus Apple will be replacing as "outdated buildings in a sea of asphalt."
To build according to plan, Apple will have to destroy HP's old structures, and convert 80 percent of 150 acres back into grassland, while simultaneously planting over 6,000 trees. Whisenhunt claims that the new campus could be finished in about 32 months, with a 2016 move-in date. Apple originally intended to have the facility ready in 2015, but is more than a year behind schedule, owing to billions in budget overruns that the company is trying to curtail.