Apple's R&D footprint in Israel is growing and so is its local headquarters

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Apple has signed a seven-year lease on a planned extension to its existing Research and Development facility in Herzliya Pituach, Israel — a move primarily designed to afford its engineers more work space.

Apple originally opened a new research and development office in Herzliya Pituach, north of Tel Aviv, in February 2015. By April that year, it was already planning to expand the site.

Now according to Globes, Apple has signed a seven-year lease on new construction that is said to extend a current two-story wing of the existing site.

It's not clear whether Apple will lease the entire building, but it is taking a reported 44,000 square meters, plus 650 parking spaces. This adds to the existing 31,000 square meters above ground, reports Globe, and 27,000 square meters underground.

The original site housed 800 staff who worked for flash memory producer Anobit, and motion sensing company PrimeSense, both of which had been acquired by Apple. The mid-2015 expansion was reportedly intended to give those staff more room, rather than to make space for more employees.

The lease takes effect when the building is complete. Construction is expected to end in 2025.