Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Steve Jobs Returns (Again) For City Council Pitch For A Huge "Spaceship" Campus

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 8, 2011



That old Steve Jobs magic is not reserved just for the Apple faithful. He recently took a break from his medical leave to present at Apple's developer conference earlier this week. Now, he's also turned up at a Cupertino City Council hearing to use his star power to persuade officials to green-light a massive new Apple campus.

Matthew Wilson reports in the San Jose Mercury News:

"We've got almost 12,000 people in the area," said Jobs, who has been on medical leave from Apple but appeared the day before at the companies Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 in San Francisco.

"So we're renting buildings, not very good buildings either, at an ever greater radius from our campus and we're putting people in those. It's clear that we need to build a new campus."

That new campus will be on 150 acres at the corner of Pruneridge Avenue and Wolfe Road. HP announced in July last year plans to move its Cupertino operations to its Palo Alto campus. Apple reportedly purchased the land in late 2010.

The proposed new building is four storeys tall and the new campus will nearly double the number of trees from 3,700, and bring back an apricot orchard that once gave the area its name: Pruneridge. (No apple orchard?)

Steve Jobs described the new building:

"It's a little like a spaceship landed,'' Jobs told the council. "There is not a single straight piece of glass in this building. I think we do have a shot at building the best office building in the world. I really do think architecture students will come here to see this, I think it can be that good."

It was a smart move by Mr Jobs, who clearly won over at least one city council member.

"Now that we have seen your plans, the word spectacular would be an understatement," said Councilman Orrin Mahoney. "Everybody is going to appreciate what clearly is going to be the most elegant headquarters at least in the U.S that I have seen. We definitely appreciate the work that has gone into it and looking forward to working with you to move it through the process."

The City Council did not impress some less star struck observers. Chris Lufer wrote in the comments:

Does anyone else think these council members asked the most idiotic questions ever? Asking Jobs if he will give the city free WiFi... if they will follow the laws about safety and smoking... asking about Kaiser plant (WTF??)... if they will build an Apple store? This is incredibly disappointing to watch these simpletons get star struck and try to make jokes when they should be discussing the real concerns of their electorate.


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