06/10/2011 10:40 am

All of us here at Blockbrief are truly saddened by the passing of technology visionary Steve Jobs. Being kids of the 80’s and Gen Y entrepreneurs we have grown up using his inventions and our lives have been enriched by the technological advances Apple made over his decades at the helm.

We have joined many of you online sharing our sadness over such a loss and viewing some of the milestone clips of Jobs that have been popping up everywhere on social media sites, particularly Job’s Stanford Commencement Speech in 2005.


Job’s words of inspiration send a lithium-ion charge through us to come in everyday and push the boundaries to create and develop visionary products and services to empower people, in something as fundamental as buying a house. Job's technology provides us with the capacity to do things never thought imaginable and to continue the vision of empowering people.

For us as real estate developers and real estate investors one clip in particular caused us to reflect on the brilliance of Job’s, adding the developer app to his talent pad, addressing the Cupertino City Council over his proposal for a new Apple Campus. The presentation was recorded only in June of this year at the Cupertino Community Hall in California.

The clip features Jobs presenting Apples plans for development to the Cupertino City Council. The proposal involves the development of a new Apple office campus on 150 acres. The 2.8 million-square-foot, four story office campus is a circular structure, which many describe will resemble a mother ship more than a building. The development comprises of:

  • Landscaping 3.1 million square feet
  • main building anticipated to cater for up to a staggering 13,000 Apple staff
  • 1,000 seat Auditorium
  • Underground parking structure providing for 1,200 spaces
  • Energy Center
  • Fitness Center
  • Auditorium
  • R + D Facilities
In the clip Job runs through the amazing campus proposal for the site, which seeks to fit up to 13,000 of Apples employees into one building, while maintaining a human scale for the building!.. Yes 13,000! Jobs presents the proposal as eloquently as only he can, utilising his knack for storytelling which helped him create Pixar. Jobs captures the imagination of the Council meeting with a storey of his connection to the land dating back to his first summer job. The storey creatively demonstrates that Jobs has a strong connection to the land and perhaps comforts the community that he is building a development with the City in mind. The effectiveness of the storey is clearly highlighted by the comments later in the meeting from Councillor Mahoney.
Any developer who has had the thankless tasks of presenting a development proposal at a council meeting must find it as bizarre as us that a big developer can be welcomed with cheers from the community instead of jeers from infuriated NIMBYS. Jobs however is received with cheers like he’s at a tech convention releasing the next Apple device and the Mayor introduces Jobs by thanking him for honouring the Council with his presence. Why shouldn’t they, the man turned a business started in his garage into a multi-billion dollar corporation and chose to locate the headquarters in their city.

However, we are quickly bought back from the iCloud by Councillor Wang, who asks the usual community benefit questions. Code for: what can we squeeze out of you to take to our constitutes and say we got free iPads for everyone:

Councillor Wang: "Quick question. I think people are curious to know. What the city residents can benefit from, this new campus?

Steve Jobs: "We’ll as you’d now we’re the largest taxpayer in Cupertino. So we’d like to continue to stay here and pay taxes. That’s number one."

Councillor Wang: "Ok."

Steve Jobs: "Because if we can’t, we have to go somewhere like Mount View and take our current people with us and we’d give up and over years sell the land here and the largest tax base would go away. That wouldn’t be good for Cupertino and wouldn’t be good for us either.


Epic response by Jobs - ah how do you like our massive tax base. It is astounding that Jobs and Apple are the ideal employer, ideal developer, ideal tax payer, with an architectural masterpiece which is actually reducing the building footprint on the site and increasing the landscaped area, and the Council  still can’t help but ask what’s in it for the community. Ahhh did you hear we are kinda the largest employer in the community, how about them apples?

Not done yet Councillor Give Me Free stuff further clarifies her questions:

Councillor Wang: "Those are great things. I think we be more specific. Do we get a free wifi or something like that?"

Jobs who could have probably developed the anti-heckler app, responds:

Steve Jobs: "Well see I’m a simpleton. I’ve always had this view that, we pay taxes and the city should do those things. That’s why we pay taxes! Now if we can get out of paying taxes, I’d be glad to put up a wifi network."

Councillor Wang: "We should use our sales tax, part of that to provide iPads to our residents and then get a free wifi."

Steve Jobs: "I think we bring a lot more than free wifi”


Yep no free wifi but I’ll serve you up another iFail. Free wifi! free wifi! Apple brings a lot more than free wifi! Perhaps Councillor Wang could be forgiven for simply making, a not so well thought out joke. But any seasoned developer who has dealt with Council, would either find it not funny or a blatant developer squeeze. Finally sanity prevails and Councillor Mahoney provides some reasonable questions on parking rates, traffic impacts, staging for the redevelopment and fire safety.

The staging plan for the mother ship is:

  • Submit plans 2011/2012
  • Break-ground in 2012
  • Completion 2015
  • Move into new campus in 2015

Architects Foster + Partners are working with ARUP North America and Kier & Wright, a local engineering firm that has worked on Apple’s current campus. Check out the introduction, site plan and landscaping, floor plans and renderings.

It is clear from the plans and visual impression that Apple and Jobs intended on building an Apple utopia. We know that Job’s vision will live on in Apple and we hope that his exciting Apple mother ship development plans are realised in the near future. We agree with Jobs, that architectural enthusiasts and students will visit the building for its architectural brilliance. Perhaps the significance of the loss of Steve Jobs was summed up best by President Obama with his observation, that much of the world learnt of and expressed their sadness for Steve Job’s death on the very devices he created and developed.

UPDATE: 9/12/2011

Apple  has  provided new details on its New Campus development "Apple Campus 2". More details about the construction of the eco-friendly Apple Campus 2 were posted this week on the Cupertino City Council website. The enormous development will fit 13,000 employees across 27 hectares and is expected to open in 2015.

The new renderings show a dark-colored roof with photo-voltaic solar panels, a corporate auditorium, additional parking and a jogging path. Images were also updated to propose a 4,180 sqm fitness center, which is 1,858 sqm more than its original proposal. The fitness center is also now a level shorter.

To check out the latest renderings, visit Mashable