Cupertino City Council gives Apple green light to begin building new ‘Spaceship’ campus

Apple Campus 2 (Rendering 001, Retina-optimized)

Well, it’s finally happened. After years of presentations, meetings and campaigning, Apple last night cleared the final hurdle in its ‘Campus 2’ initiative. The Cupertino City Council has given the iPad-maker the green light to begin construction on its so-called ‘Spaceship’ campus.

The final vote enabled Apple to enter into an official Development Agreement with the City of Cupertino. With its ancillary permits, the company is now allowed to begin demolition of current buildings on its lot, and it’s set to receive its full set of building permits later today…

Apple Campus 2 (Rendering 007, Retina-optimized)

As part of the final negotiations, Apple has agreed to increase the amount of taxes that it pays to the City of Cupertino, in the form of a reduction in the sales tax rebate that it receives each year. The company’s typical 50% refund of its sales taxes is being reduced to 35%.

The Los Angeles Times (via MacRumors) reports:

“Through last year, the city of 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.

“This item was one of many negotiated between Apple and the city of Cupertino as part of the development agreement,” said Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney in an email. “The Apple 2 campus is expected to have long-term impacts on the city with respect to traffic and other issues and Apple agreed to a financial offset for some of those impacts.”

Apple is expected to begin construction on the new campus immediately, once it gets rid of the current buildings. Phase 1 of the construction will include a round, 2.8 million square foot main building, a 100,000 square foot fitness center, and a 120,00 square foot auditorium.

iSpaceship (new renders 002)

Additionally, the entire campus has been designed to be environmentally friendly. Apple plans to turn the lot, which right now is nearly 80% concrete, into 80% green space with tree orchards and other vegetation. And 70% of the campus’ energy will come from solar and fuel cells.

Apple hopes to complete the first phase of construction by 2016.