Apple coming to RTP/Raleigh?

I keep trying to say this but the tech bros aren’t having it. Perhaps they can autopilot on highways but general driving, awkward maneuvering, anything off road…just too many variables to program for. “Car, pull up just far enough so I can stand on the roof and reach my gutters”. In 10 years I predict less than 1% self driving cars.

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And Raleigh will be too of it isn’t careful.

Ultimately, economic incentives aside, I think Raleigh lost out because the city itself just isn’t quite ready. We have a lot of great ideas and concepts that are on the drawing board, but at least as of now are only ideas and concepts. Once the bus rapid transit is up and running, once commuter rail is operational, once projects such as the southern gateway move from renderings to being shovel-ready, then we will stand out from these other cities. Yes, it stings that we lost out on Amazon and Apple and the Army, but for now we should be satisfied that we have attracted the likes of Advance Auto and Pendo and continue to work hard to attract more companies in the future.


Nashville and Austin have an identifiable brand, a cachet about them that is enticing to the current generation of young workers. Raleigh is missing that key attribute. For all of Raleigh’s objective qualities and superior resume, it doesn’t excite people. That’s what’s missing. If Raleigh had the strong brand identity, it could overcome the negatives that come with regressive politics at the state level.


I once heard somewhere that “perception is reality.”

But I don’t need to explain that to someone with an Allen West AVI, right?


Before people complain about how we need to stop bringing in new things, incentives, or the General Assembly again, I want to deflect your annoyance to something productive. See this thinkpiece from the N&O:

Like @Spero said, perception is reality -or at least, it becomes reality. If the Triangle remains a good place to work but doesn’t have the cultural capital to go above and beyond, there’s no incentive for it to do that -and society runs on autopilot. It’s a self-fulfilling destiny, a positive feedback loop of not moving radically upwards.

Sure, the article lists tons of good things that this state has accomplished. And that’s definitely a testament to how Wake County does a fairly good job; it makes a livable place with plenty of work, cheap(er) housing (than some places), good food, and even new development every once in a while. It’s a good place to be, to feel content, satisfied, and stable; it gets the job done.

That’s all you need if you want to survive, AND if everyone is equally fine with mediocrity. That’s fine, except that the United States likes diversity, freedom, and ass-kicking (none of which play nice with being “meh”). As a part of that kind of culture, we owe our neighbors the opportunity to do that, no matter where you stand personally.

And I think that’s where we dropped the ball. We, the people and stakeholders of Raleigh and the Triangle, failed to make the best opportunities that could be offered in our area possible.

I agree, John; we need a culture and heritage that we can be proud of. I’ve talked about this before several times (e.g. here and here), but if you care about Raleigh being the best it can be, this matters.

It’s not just a marketing ploy or an ego boost, but it (and the infrastructure like transit or education that directly contribute to it) shapes what opportunities are available. It shapes how people see you when you go outside of NC. It shapes what residents are capable of doing, which shapes what the city, county, and state can do.

Frequent public art contests can give more life to vibrant social/non-academic intellectual communities in Raleigh. Using Dix Park to solidify the Triangle’s food options can give Flavortown a run for its money. Chapel Hill is piloting a civic engagement program that could be a model of 21st-century democracy. There’s so many things we could do…

From the article:

“North Carolina is going to have its day,” [a business site selection consultant] said. “For states that have good assets, [the Army, Amazon, and Apple] losses, if they are used properly, you can make a pretty sharp spear point with it."

…so I have a question for everyone: how do we make that spear point? and can we do something as a community/website to get started?


and the source is Vox. Always evaluate your sources. There is much to be learned from even the most slanted ones if you recognize their leanings or mission.

"House redistricting chief Rep. David Lewis attempted to justify the criteria by saying “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats. So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.”


That’s an incredibly arrogant response/justification by Rep. Lewis.
Damage done…
I want a thorough postmortem on the Apple decision not to expand in Raleigh so that we can assess the city’s next steps. I suspect that this might be on the list.

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WRAL reporting the Apple project is “absolutely not dead” in this area. However, the interview with Rick Smith, WRAL Techwire Editor seemed sort of confusing to me.

“The” or “An”…Apples and Oranges? Sorry, I had to…:joy::rofl:

@ SilentSammy , I think WRAL is saying that NC is thinking about a counter offer with Apple using some of the Amazon incentives !

But let’s be very careful here. WRAL has been missleading before…

Also I doubt more incentives are needed. Best case scenario - if we are lucky - Apple will retain some sort of right for the site within RTP and expand there down the road when one or both of the following points are met 1) Raleigh is cooler and has more pull for young people 2) political climate is more chill and progressive

This just seems like more speculation…and ‘hoping’ than anything meaningful. ‘Officials’ can say all they want ‘we are still pursuing Apple…’ because they haven’t officially been told to ‘kiss off’ by Apple directly. But when you keep hearing ‘Apple went radio silent, etc’ over and over there’s an old adage in sales that says, ‘if they aren’t talking to you, they are talking to someone else…’ which sadly appears to be the case here.

Baffling with Jeff Williams and Tim Cook’s ties to the Raleigh area, for us to screw this one up…the GOP can run around all they want to claim ‘it’s not because of me!!’ but its hard to ignore their backwardness as the primary culprit…


I think this is the article you were referring to?

It offers some interesting points, but seems pretty inconclusive.

But the Triangle as well as North Carolina shouldn’t give up hope that Apple won’t be expanding its presence in the state – at least right now.

The key words in the Apple announcement: There is “the potential for additional expansion elsewhere in the US over time.”

In fact, a source has told WRAL TechWire that Apple has continued to express very strong interest in a large piece of undeveloped land across the southern part of Research Triangle Park that stretches into Wake County.

Scott Levitan, CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation which runs RTP, would not comment about Apple’s decision.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s David Rhoades wouldn’t say anything other than: “We are aware of the media reports. We have nothing further to offer.”

However, no one has told any of WRAL’s reporters working on this story that Apple has said “no” to the state.

The article is trying to make the case that the previously “imminent” expansion announcement is not yet off the table. However, it seems kind of unlikely to me that Apple would announce an expansion similar to the one that was speculating to be landing here soon (before the end of the year), alongside a statement that details their expansion plans over the next 3+ years, while just about to announce another expansion location.

Maybe their sources aren’t reliable, or maybe they’re just interpreting it the wrong way. Maybe Apple is interested in that undeveloped plot of land, but maybe they won’t have any definite plans for a year or more? Or maybe Apple wants everyone here writhing in anxiety that the deal could very well slip through our fingers if we don’t pony up some portion of what was offered to Amazon, and they know that the people with the keys to the coffers want to be able to announce a big win.


And it seems to contradict the rest of the stories on WRAL concerning Apple’s rumored expansion at the moment. The rest all seem to be pretty definitely in the camp of “we lost it, what happened?”

Something that confuses me is why Apple would even want a suburban campus in the first place. They’re a very high-tech company, very forward-thinking, and many of their stores are in urban areas. Those strike me as characteristics of a company that would want to be centrally located, so that their employees (young, techy folks that generally prefer urban areas) can take transit to work and live in dense communities. That’s what Amazon was looking for, and other major tech companies are heading in that direction too. Maybe it’s dangerous to lump Apple together with their major competitors in terms of how they view the built environment, but I just don’t understand why they choose to place their main facilities in low-density, sprawling environments. Can anyone help explain this?

I actually was referring to an interview Rick Smith did today on the WRAL noon news. As others have stated, it seemed a mixture of sources and conjecture. I quoted his exact phrase used on the interview: “Absolutely not dead” was his quote (i reran the interview to make sure).

Again, it seemed as though within the same interview he somewhat contracted himself or perhaps I just didn’t follow. Is he talking a different project, the same project? I don’t know. I can’t see how it’s the same project. since it has been announced for Austin.

Maybe some of it is trying to cover his blog’s prior reports how this was basically a done deal. Granted, if you are reporting what sources say, not sure you can blame the reporter.

Oh well… perplexing to me. I’d be far more interested if they were possibly coming downtown anyway…

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Another thing I found interesting… nearly everyone I mentioned the Apple choosing Austin over Raleigh decision to, was glad. Whether we like it or not, many of the population thinks the Triangle is getting too crowded. I don’t think it was anything against Apple, the company, rather the thought of increased traffic, higher housing prices,etc.

I hear variations of the above sentiment every day. I agree in many ways if growth just adds more and more to the sprawl. We need to grow up, not out!


I think it’s because that is where the assumption that Apple is “just another top-tier, modern consumer tech company” fails.

Apple is also a pretty secretive company that likes to keep itself isolated from its peers -both in corporate policy, its supply chain monopoly, and its general streak of doing things its own way -temporary fads, be damned. It cares about its aesthetic on the surface as much as how it can maintain its pristine internal conditions.

It’s the brainchild of the late uber-perfectionist Steve Jobs, after all. I have several friends who worked as tech or retail support in Apple, and even they say there’s a sense of separation between Apple and everywhere else. Like have you ever noticed how it feels like you’re walking into a different kind of environment just by stepping inside an Apple Store?

If anything, becoming an urban company probably wouldn’t be a very Apple thing to do, from what I understand.

Also, friendly reminder as someone who belongs in that group of “young, techy folks that generally prefer urban areas”: we’re not a monolith. We’re not a homogeneous group of like-minded hippies. (I’m not accusing you of it, but I just wanted to point out that there’s more to learn by digging deeper to actually understand the corporate culture of these sorts of companies. The headlines are almost never an accurate snapshot of how things look and feel on the ground)