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With Apple's head count swelling rapidly alongside its business, chief executive Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance at a Cupertino city council meeting two years ago this month to announce plans for a second campus about a mile away from its existing home, which had since reached capacity.
"We are in 30 other buildings now and they keep getting further and further away from the campus," Jobs told the assembly. "We've rented every scrap of building we could find in Cupertino."
Fearing the expansion would force the company's second campus to fall outside the borders of the town it has called home for three decades, Jobs and his team took a second look around and came up with a solution.
Though "a lot more expensive" than the alternatives, it called for Apple to acquire 9 separate properties located next to each other along Interstate 280, completely level them, and then build the new 50-acre campus in their place.
The plan, which would free space for an additional 3,000 to 3,500 employees, would likely take three to four years to design and build, Jobs said at the time. Those estimates were echoed by chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer just a few days later.
But that was nearly two years ago, notes Fortune in a new report published on its Big Tech blog, which insinuates that those plans now appear slightly ambitious.
The publication confirmed with Ciddy Wordell, a project manager for the city of Cupertino in the area where Apple is to build its new campus, that the company "has not applied for permits to build on the site."
"They must go through a planning approval process, get a use permit and an architectural review," Wordell said. "It might even involve a general plan change."
After that, it will still take about two years for a construction effort of that magnitude, according to Fortune, which urges Jobs & Co. to get moving if they have their sights set on meeting their 2010 deadline.