Apple Unveils New HQ plan; High Stakes on High-Speed Rail

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Apple is taking its gadget design into the real estate world–at least, that’s what the plan for their new Cupertino campus looks like. The new state-of-the-art structure, designed by British architect Norman Foster, will emulate everything [...]

Apple is taking its gadget design into the real estate world–at least, that’s what the plan for their new Cupertino campus looks like. The new state-of-the-art structure, designed by British architect Norman Foster, will emulate everything that makes the company’s i-fronted products so attractive to the public: smooth edges and a lot of glass. The concept for the massive tech campus was unveiled recently during a presentation made for the local city council, TechZone360.com reports.

Apple Campus 2, as it is tentatively dubbed, will boast a total of around 2.8 million square feet, 300,000 of which will constitute research space. The four-floor circular giant will greet as many as 13,000 employees and offer a huge amount of parking. Amenities will also include a 1,000-seat auditorium, a fitness center and eco-friendly facilities. To keep up with the green trends, the campus will benefit from a low-carbon power plant, placed on-site, as well as water-saving plans for the UFO-like office campus.

In broader real estate news, the state of California is faced with continuous escalations in the costs required for the new bullet train. This is mostly due to environmental impact studies conducted on the first segment of the high-speed rail project. It appears connecting Merced and Bakersfield would cost somewhere between $10 billion and $13.9 billion, according to the San Francisco Business Times. That stands at around double the initial estimate of $7.1 billion. The Central Valley segment will break ground in 2012, while the San Francisco – San Jose segment is still locked in the planning phase. The full extent of the project’s toll on the state budget is a whopping $43 billion, $6.3 billion of which has already been secured by the California High-Speed Rail Authority.