Apple’s expansion is “good news” for Boulder, says business development leader

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Apple will expand to 700 jobs in Boulder as part of a $ 430 billion national investment in U.S. projects and the addition of 20,000 new jobs nationwide over the next five years.

Boulder Economic Council executive director Scott Sternberg called the tech giant’s move “good news for Boulder” and credited federally-funded higher education and research institutions with promoting an ecosystem innovative business in which Apple wishes to invest.

The announcement is an increase in Apple’s previously announced five-year U.S. investment target of $ 350 billion, an announcement made in December 2018.

“In this time of recovery and rebuilding, Apple is doubling down on its commitment to innovation and manufacturing in the United States with generational investment reaching communities across all 50 states,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. communicated. “We are creating jobs in cutting-edge fields – from 5G to silicon engineering to artificial intelligence – by investing in the next generation of new innovative companies and in all our work, for a future greener and fairer. “

The expanded investment target marks a 20% increase from that previous target and includes “tens of billions of dollars for next-generation silicon development and 5G innovation in nine US states,” said the company.

That 2018 announcement included a vague announcement that Apple would add “hundreds of jobs” in Boulder. BizWest previously reported that Apple has taken up space in the 5300 block of Sterling Drive.

“Boulder has been a great city to build a team, and we’re excited to continue to grow our engineering teams here,” said Kristina Raspe, vice president of real estate and global facilities at Apple, in a comment. press release sent by e-mail to BizWest. “We are proud to be part of this vibrant community and to contribute to job creation and long-term economic development in the city.

The exact location of Apple’s expanded Boulder operation was not immediately clear, but there are several options that could meet the company’s needs.

Based on real estate standards for technology employers of 150 square feet per employee, Apple would need more than 100,000 square feet of office space to accommodate 700 employees. This square footage requirement could ultimately be much higher if Apple decides it needs more space per capita for a post-COVID-19 office environment.

The company already occupies approximately 40,000 square feet at 5360 Sterling Drive.

There are adjacent buildings on either side of the Sterling Drive offices totaling almost an additional 50,000 square feet. These buildings are occupied by MKS Instruments Inc. but could provide additional space for Apple if current tenants were to vacate.

On the nearby Flatiron Park campus, Crescent Real Estate is redeveloping a 14-acre parcel at 2400 and 2450 Central Ave. into a combined structure with a total area of ​​approximately 144,500 square feet. However, the developer “is exploring the possibility of reducing the square footage of the second floor (by approximately 30,000 square feet) to allow for higher interior heights for laboratory uses,” according to Boulder planning documents submitted over early this year.

The developer is also considering expanding an office building adjacent to 2300 Central Ave., but the scope of this expansion is unclear.

The Central Avenue project is slated to begin this year and has a 15-month development schedule, according to Boulder planning documents.

Southern Land Co.’s The Reve development on 30th and Pearl Streets includes 120,000 square feet of office space. The developer recently sold the residential portion of The Reve and is close to completing the commercial aspect. Tenants have not yet been announced.

This year, city leaders approved plans to redevelop the commercial area of ​​Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) Twenty Ninth Street, which will transform the department store into a three-story, approximately 155,000-storey office building. square feet. This project is expected to last several years and no tenant has been identified.

Apple is by no means the only big tech company to have a growing presence in Boulder.

Amazon moved downtown to 1900 15th St. in 2018. These offices were leased to house advertising engineers.

About a year ago, Google expanded its business to Boulder with additional offices and employees at its 3333 Walnut St. facility, leasing the entire nearly 160,000 square foot facility.

The company also completed the third building of its 300,000 square foot main campus at 2930 Pearl St. This campus was designed to accommodate 1,500 employees.

Social network Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) signed a new lease last November for 65,000 square feet in the S’Park neighborhood in downtown Boulder.

This was in addition to Twitter’s 30,000 square foot lease in the Wencel building south of the Pearl Street Mall, where it houses an application development team.

While local economic development leaders hail Apple’s expansion as a victory for Boulder, some in the community are less enthusiastic about the city’s emergence as a major tech hub.

Adding more workers without a corresponding addition of houses worsens Boulder’s employment-housing imbalance, some critics have said. And because Apple’s new hires are likely to be paid heavily, it could make it even harder for low-wage workers to afford housing.

Still, Sternberg said, “These are the types of jobs we want here in Boulder.”

The addition or expansion of companies such as Apple has a “multiplier effect” on the city’s economy, helping “to create new businesses and further nurture this innovation community here,” he said. -he declares.

“Today’s announcement also helps us where Boulder is clearly in trouble: in the secondary industries and service industries that support our workers on a daily basis like bars, restaurants and local bookstores,” Sternberg said. . “As we build our job base, we support these economies, which is helpful for our recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the Colorado expansion, Apple’s U.S. investments will include:

  • North Carolina: Creation of a new $ 1 billion campus in North Carolina that will create 3,000 jobs in the Research Triangle area. Jobs will be in machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering and other cutting edge fields.
  • California: Apple will expand its San Diego team to over 5,000 employees by 2026, up 500% from its 2018 target. Apple will also expand its Culver City teams to over 3,000 employees by 2026 , expanding its state-of-the-art campus with additional space for these employees and more.
  • Massachusetts: In 2018, Apple announced that it would add hundreds of new jobs to the greater Boston area. With around 200 team members already working in the region, Apple plans to add several hundred new jobs by 2026.
  • Texas: Construction of Apple’s billion-dollar Austin campus is underway, and employees are expected to start moving into the new space next year.
  • Washington: Apple’s Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) office space in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood recently opened to the company’s 1,000 local employees, with the intention of adding to the minus 1,000 other team members.
  • Iowa: The design process is underway for Apple’s new data center, which is expected to create more than 500 construction and operation jobs in Waukee. Apple is supporting community infrastructure programs, including the creation of Triumph Park, a 66-acre recreation area.

Apple said the US investments would include working with 9,000 suppliers and companies in all 50 states.

The company said it supports more than 2.7 million jobs across the country, through direct jobs, spending with U.S. suppliers and manufacturers, and developer jobs in the iOS app economy.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC


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