Cupertino gives final approval to Apple Campus 2

The Cupertino City Council gave final approval Tuesday for Apple to build a massive new headquarters in the Santa Clara County town of 58,000.

More than 2½ years after the late Steve Jobs first unveiled plans for the ambitious "spaceship" design, the project received the go-ahead amid widespread community support for a building that's roughly the size of the Pentagon. 

"We're really proud that you decided to stay here in Cupertino," said Councilman Gilbert Wong, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

As part of the development agreement that was approved, Apple has agreed to increase the amount of taxes it pays to Cupertino.

The increase is actually a reduction in the size of a sales-tax rebate the city gives to Apple each year. Through last year, Cupertino refunded about 50% of the sales taxes it received from Apple-related purchases back to the company. Going forward, the city will only refund 35% of those sales taxes, according to terms of the new agreement.

The City Council actually approved the project last month. However, a second technical vote was required to make it official.
Apple is eager to start work on a project that's already a year behind schedule. So far, the company is still saying it expects the new campus to be ready by late 2016, but that remains an ambitious timetable.

Apple must clear 176 acres of land, including thousands of trees and the 26 current buildings on the site. The plans call for transforming the land from 80% concrete to only 20%, with the remainder being densely covered with trees and other landscaping goodies.

The centerpiece, though, will be the 2.8-million-square-foot circular headquarters that will have four floors and an exterior almost entirely of curved glass. The new facility will be home to up to 14,200 employees, almost triple the number previously working at the site. 

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