Apple hires new general contractor for ‘spaceship’ campus 2 as questions swirl about construction delays

“Apple Inc. is bringing on a new general contractor to finish its multi-billion-dollar ‘spaceship’ building at Apple Campus 2, amid questions about whether the huge project remains on track for a late-2016 completion,” Nathan Donato-Weinstein reports for The Silicon Valley Business Journal.

“Rudolph & Sletten Inc., a veteran Silicon Valley builder, will complete the ring-shaped structure’s interior build-out, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation,” Donato-Weinstein reports. “Until now, a joint venture of DPR Construction Co. and Skanska USA, which is heading up the project, was expected by many in the construction industry to take it through the finish line.”

“It’s unclear why Rudolph & Sletten is being brought in and exactly what DPR/Skanska’s involvement will be going forward. Two sources said the DPR-Skanska joint venture would still complete the core and shell — or the basic structure — of the circular building. It’s also possible that DPR and Skanska never intended to do more than the core and shell,” Donato-Weinstein reports. “It’s not clear whether Rudolph & Sletten’s arrival signals troubles at the megaproject — among the priciest and most complicated ever attempted by a private company — or simply the addition of additional construction horsepower. Apple already has several teams of general contractors building out various portions of the project.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Lots of speculation, and not a lot of facts, about what could be anything from simply being a part of the plan all along to issues with construction.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

20 Comments

  1. The orb is already costing more dollars per square foot than Manhattan office space. Now with construction delays, the money pit looks as bad or worse than acquiring Beats.

    Cook is looked on as a great CEO only because Jobs left such a huge cash cow. As Cook continues to blow it on poorly executed plans, I hope that Apple investors apply the appropriate scrutiny to Cook the drunken sailor.

    But no .. MDN wants people to imaging Apple bloating iteself into another Microsoft by buying IBM or building cars or whatever. WHAT APPLE NEEDS IS LEADERSHIP WITH FOCUS ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. Cook and his staff have lost that.

    1. Please post links to costs being more than Manhattan office space.
      Please inform us of proof on construction delays.

      What poorly executed plans? The rollouts of iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, Apple Watch?
      All were blowout sales and if I remember Apple posted a past quarter of sales that was kinda a big deal, dam what was that? As to the Watch, time will tell. Kinda hard to call it good or bad after a week don’t cha think? Based on reviews and people I have talked to, they are thrilled with the Apple Watch.

      “Cook the drunken sailor.” Wow, what low levels you will stoop to slime probably the best CEO in the industry and THE BEST inventory and manufacturer controller ever.

      Keep in mind fellow MDN readers, posts like this above will get worse as Samscum, Google, and other Apple competitors try everything to slow Apple down. Including phycological warfare to try and make you doubt that Cook and other great leaders in Apple have lost touch and then get them fired. Only to be grabbed by the competitors as the prize for succeeding in the mission they are carrying out daily.

        1. I can’t help but notice that the article you cited was almost entirely built on another article that originally appeared in Bloomberg Business. NEITHER ARTICLE CITED AN AUTHORITATIVE SOURCE for the cost estimates they bandied about and there is no explanation for the $1500/sf number.

          This last part is important because it appears to me that the costs associated with the entire project – including land assembly, demolition of existing structures, site prep and the construction costs for several major and separate structures – including a massive above-ground garage, the mostly underground auditorium and several buildings housing sophisticated test labs – have been lumped into the speculative cost-per-square-foot figure for the main building. Further, the total project costs include landscaping well over 100 acres, provisions for solar power generation on-site and ultimately the furniture, fixtures and equipment needed for 12,000 employees.

          When all is said-and-done, the costs for this project don’t appear to be much different – either in gross or per square foot – than the “Freedom Tower” in NYC.

          Finally, it is worth mentioning that the real point of the Bloomberg article (aside from a lengthy regurgitation of the project description found in public documents filed with the City of Cupertino) is as a hit piece, suggesting that building a new headquarters was extravagant for the world’s most profitable company. The author even found ONE fund manager (in Tulsa) who griped a bit about it. So, when you cite the $1500/sf number, it needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

          1. Did you also catch the fact this article he is citing cannot possibly be talking about delays and cost over-runs in that it was written 25 months ago, before Apple ever broke ground?

            You are right, it is a know-nothing hit piece of criticism with no substantive content. . . and no basis for it’s price figures at all.

    2. Paul, the new Apple headquarters was initiated by Steve Jobs. You may recall videos of Jobs presenting the concept to the Cupertino city council. Get your crap straight before you begin bashing Cook and company, especially on this forum.

      On this forum, your opinion is not worth a gnat’s turd.

    3. The was SJ’s baby. The price seems high, but with space high and rents high and increasing, this may be a better solution. If later Apple needs cash, they can always do a sale/leaseback to and office REIT.

  2. Totally agree, Paul. It stretches the limits of belief to think anyone could ever experience a freakin’ construction delay! It has never happened before, right? And this is not a run of the mill kitchen or bathroom redo, or gut-and-renovate. One simply cannot fathom any hiccup with a huge, modern, unique campus design, even if it is Apple. Certain evidence Apple is becoming just like Microsoft, right? I mean, come on. Bunch of geek-tards or what?

    — What ?

    /sarcasm !!!

  3. There are always construction delays. Just add a bathroom to your house, there will be delays. Large commercial construction… there will be delays. Too many people depending on too many people depending on too many people. I have yet to meet the contractor who doesn’t bite off more than he can chew.

  4. It is EXTREMELY COMMON in major office building development to have separate general contractors for the interior work – aka tenant improvements. Any assertions about schedule or cost based on the addition of a contractor is PURE SPECULATION. This article is nothing more than click bait.

  5. So..if they are moving onto the interior contractor doesn’t that mean they are on schedule.
    Anyway – who cares. It will be done when its done. Get it right first time.
    BTW has anyone seen the next Facebook buildings. Hard to say what my feelings are when I pass them. Bored, disgusted, ambivalent. Really the dullest building ever. Maybe it will look better once all the trees are hiding it from sight.

  6. Whatever, it is another opportunity to ding Apple, which is hogging industry profits and mind share. Somehow that is immoral. So look for chinks in the armor of their precious perfection, and attack there. I do believe I’m getting the hang of this Hater mystique and it looks like fun. I wouldn’t go so far as to give up my iPhone however.

  7. It is actually logical on such a large project that a secondary General Contractor be brought in for the interior work. As work continues around the ring, interior work on the completed parts of the ring can start and then follow around the ring in both directions as the original Contractor builds the frame and infra-structure. The critical pathway of work demands that this be done instead of waiting for the original contractor finish the ring before starting work on the interior. That way he can concentrate on the huge job he already has and the equally huge and more detailed interior job can be worked on simultaneously.

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