How much Apple spent to build Apple Park

“Few construction projects have garnered as much excitement as Apple’s new multi-billion dollar headquarters in Cupertino,” Sasha David reports for BuildZoom. “Also known as Apple Campus 2 and aptly nicknamed ‘The Spaceship’ for its futuristic design, the behemoth project – first announced in 2011 by Steve Jobs in what would be his last public appearance – is finally reaching its much-anticipated completion.”

“Apple already began moving its employees to the new office in April, and as the last tenant fit-outs and landscaping work are finished, it’s a good time to look back at what it actually took to build this state-of-the-art facility,” David reports. “Using BuildZoom’s Open Building Permit Repository, we’ve estimated the minimum costs for each of the 15 major structures at Apple Park and ranked them by descending value – all the way from the $427 million Spaceship to the $360,000 storage barn. Want to know how much these buildings actually cost? We break it down for you with a list of the most notable building permits.”

“The most impressive structure by far is the 2.8 million square-feet donut-shaped building with a one mile outer circumference, capacity for 12,000 employees, and 8,255 parking spaces. The aggregate value of building permits comes in at a whopping $427 million dollars, but it’s not inconceivable considering the quality of materials and the level of detail,” David reports. “Apple has gotten a lot of attention in September not only for the launch of five shiny new products, but also for the public unveiling of the newly completed auditorium where the presentation took place, [The Steve Jobs Theater]. The underground theater seats 1,000 people, and according to the $161 million building permit filed in January 2015, the total square footage is 159,382.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And these are just the building permit tallies. The project reportedly cost in the neighborhood of $5 billion altogether.

The cost of distracting everyone from Tim Cook and Jony Ive (for years) on down cannot be calculated.

[Attribution: Apple Must. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

21 Comments

    1. I think a lot of Mac desktop users might disagree.

      As much as I love Apple Park — and I do love to look at the images, and a visit to the complex is on my bucket list — lots of companies have built spectacular headquarters, only to experience a spectacular decline in the years that followed (Sears Tower, I’m talking to you).

      One hopes this is NOT the case with Steve’s legacy.

      1. Yes, as I’ve said here before, let’s hope Apple does not follow the trend of others…
        Data General
        IBM
        Digital Equipment Corp (DEC)
        among many others.

        They built fancy, extravagant home offices/headquarters then within 5 years (for most of them) the company took a major downturn. Many of them did not survive.

      1. More like 1.5 EPCOTs.

        EPCOT opened 35 years ago. Based on the US Inflation Calculator, $1.25 billion in 1982 dollars equals roughly $3.2 billion today. And Disney had already acquired the land, so that price doesn’t factor in.

  1. Calculating the cost of Apple Park based on building permits is like calculating the cost of producing a next-gen iPhone by adding up the component costs. It’s a meaningless statistic.

    What’s missing? Land acquisition, site development, architects & engineering, furnishings, logistics, landscaping, utility build-out and on and on and on. I work on a university campus, and we recently built about 1,000 beds of student housing, along with meeting and dining spaces, stretched over eight separate buildings. The cost was north of $100 million. Trust me, the cost of the Spaceship was NOT $427 million…

      1. Maybe. But if you build a 3BR house for $300,000 (a fairly cheap house in Southern California), that’s $100,000 per bedroom, too. Because you’re not just building bedrooms when you build a house.

        Same with college housing. There are dining facilities — both commercial restaurants and apartment-style kitchens — meeting spaces, study spaces, computer labs, recreational facilities, bathrooms, utilities, furniture, landscaping. It’s expensive to build a building. Just ask anyone who has to build one from scratch.

    1. i was not a huge fan of the Beats acquisition. It sort of fit in with Apple’s music efforts and it was reportedly reasonably profitable on its own, so I did not have strong objections.

      The basis on which you claim that Apple “over paid” for Beats is unclear. I see unsubstantiated claims very frequently on this forum, and most of them appear to be driven by personal, political, and social agendas — in other words, just casual opinions.

    1. Why should it? Surely there are examples of companies that build massive new headquarters and continued prospering afterwards?

      Why the angst over the Spaceship? Jobs died years ago. The Spaceship is not the canary in the coal mine.

  2. Compared to Apple’s cash reserves, entire building complex cost is not very significant. What is significant is the time expended by upper management to plan, coordinate and organize the move and work flow within the complex and beyond into the entire Apple ecosystem. Only time will tell whether those efforts will boost employee creativity and morale, enhance product and services development, and stimulate the type of long-term planning that would make Steve Jobs proud.

  3. When Apple is earning something like twenty billion dollars per quarter, the cost of at the new campus came to rather less than one month’s earnings.

    I wish that I could buy a new house on what I earn in a month.

  4. Is The Mothership Apple’s biggest Gee Whiz! project ever?

    Just asking. I’m withholding judgement until the entire campus is actually finished, with everyone and everything moved in and working. Then we can get the finished picture of exactly what this expensive work of architectural art is worth. And I don’t mean marketing ‘Look what we built!’ worth. I mean practical worth.

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