Apple paid Ellis Partners $166 million for the land, which includes a 290,000 SQFT building that Apple was previously going to lease. The deal also gives Apple 12 acres of land approved for 650,000 SQFT of additional R&D and/or office space. This will give Apple a grand total of 70 acres in North San Jose.
Without moving a single employee to San Jose, the city already is already getting a nice payout. The city will collect over $1 million in transfer tax from the sale of the property.
In typical Apple fashion, they are being very secretive on what their true intentions are for the land. My guess is that they are going to use the space to develop "Project Titan," their electric car rumored for release in 2019. They allegedly already have 800 employees working on the car, and plan to triple that to over 2,000 employees immediately. North San Jose property would be the absolute best location for Apple to develop an electric car. Here is why:
- Millions of square feet of develop-able space that could be built to meet Apple's unique requirements. Cupertino is out of land and is more difficult to work with than San Jose when it comes to new development.
- Access to the best engineering talent in the world. The Golden Triangle is still the largest tech cluster anywhere, and you are not going to find better hardware engineers elsewhere.
- Santa Clara County is becoming a Mecca for automotive innovation. You have Tesla and innovation centers for just about every car manufacturer in the immediate area. Let's also not forget NextEV is opening an R&D outpost in the neighborhood. Most of the talent required to build next-generation vehicles is already here.
- Easy access to the San Jose International Airport.
- Easy access to Light Rail and eventually BART.
- Easy access to Highway 101 and Highway 87.
- More central location than Cupertino with more housing options and urban amenities.
Tesla now has 12,000 employees. If Apple chooses to centralize "Project Titan" in San Jose, they will need every square foot of the land they just purchased. I can't wait to see how this develops!