Troy Wolverton, the technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, rants in a recent column that Apple's new headquarters will offer little in the way of benefits to the local community, but plenty of drawbacks.

The vaunted "forest park" and trails will all be closed to the public behind a perimeter fence due to security concerns, Wolverton says.

Wolverton claims that "the city of Cupertino expects widespread and severe traffic problems ... Drivers can expect backups not only near the Interstate 280 offramps to Wolfe Road, which runs alongside the proposed site, but also on area surface streets and all along I-280 from Winchester Boulevard all the way up to Foothill Expressway."

"Employees are likely to stick to campus most of the time. Because the main building is set back from the street and the project is in a largely residential area, there are few retail businesses within easy walking distance."

"6 million square feet of space, which is within spitting distance of the size of the Pentagon ... Would you want the Empire State Building or the Pentagon in your backyard?"

11,000 parking spots for 14,200 employees means even more congestion for the local area, Wolverton says.

The Neighbors Are Cranky About Apple's Coming Spaceship Campus

"A traffic nightmare... urban planning gone way wrong."

Apple's new "Spaceship Campus," scheduled for 2016, has drawn accolades in the design world, but some neighbors aren't too happy. Troy Wolverton, the technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, rants in a recent column that the spaceship offers little in the way of benefits to the local community, but plenty of drawbacks.

His top five beefs:

1) The Park: The vaunted "forest park" and trails will all be closed to the public behind a perimeter fence due to security concerns.

2) The Traffic: Wolverton claims that "the city of Cupertino expects widespread and severe traffic problems ... Drivers can expect backups not only near the Interstate 280 offramps to Wolfe Road, which runs alongside the proposed site, but also on area surface streets and all along I-280 from Winchester Boulevard all the way up to Foothill Expressway."

3) The Size: "6 million square feet of space, which is within spitting distance of the size of the Pentagon ... Would you want the Empire State Building or the Pentagon in your backyard?"

4) The Lack Of Local Business Benefits: "Employees are likely to stick to campus most of the time. Because the main building is set back from the street and the project is in a largely residential area, there are few retail businesses within easy walking distance."

5) The Parking: 11,000 spots for 14,200 employees means even more congestion for the local area.

As the economic footprint of the region's tech companies continues to grow, grumbles are more and more frequent. Facebook's recent announcement that it has plans to build one of the biggest rental developments in California for its own employees in Menlo Park, and Google and other tech companies' tussles with San Francisco over shuttle bus traffic, are two more examples of the divide between rich, expansionist technology companies and their local communities.

The Cupertino City Council votes on Apple's plan tomorrow, October 15, with a final vote scheduled for November.

[Image: Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group]

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4 Comments

  • Steve Caruso

    Turns out that the Empire State Building is in plenty of peoples' backyards, mine included, and it's really not so bad.

  • Jessica Darko

    Typical mindless apple bashing.
    11k parking spaces is quite enough, given that Apple runs shuttles thru out the region for employees to commute to work on.   
    The traffic jams are due to the poor urban planning outside of apple's control.
    the new facility is not significantly larger than the one that was there- which was a terribly eyesore.

    But california liberals are anti-development because they want their home prices to go up.  It's just greed. 

  • Charles Baker

    How many Californians do you know? What's up with the generalizations? :(

  • arkay808

    Only in California would you hear whining about this expansive (and well designed) property tax generator.