Apple's North Carolina campus is still coming, but when is the question

Apple's planned North Carolina campus will sit near Raleigh

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The Research Triangle Park in North Carolina will still be the home of Apple's new billion-dollar campus — eventually.

Apple's move to North Carolina has been years in the making, as initial plans leaked out in 2018. However, not much has moved since then and Apple is running out of time to claim its state incentives.

According to research from The News & Observer, Apple still plans on building the North Carolina campus, but the timeline is unknown. Deadlines requiring Apple to hire certain numbers of employees are fast approaching, however, so something has to happen soon.

If Apple doesn't create at least 126 new positions by the end of 2023, the company could lose eligibility for state incentives. Apple's Job Development Investment Grant agreement with the state could provide Apple with more than $800 million in payroll tax relief through the year 2061 — if it meets its hiring targets.

"Maybe the most important impact is that Apple is Apple," city planning professor William Rohe said. "Them making the decision to come will boost the reputation of the RTP and the Research Triangle metropolitan area substantially. It's not only about Apple's Apple impacts, it's also about Apple's spillover effects with attracting a different caliber of businesses."

The Research Triangle Park is said to be the largest research park in the United States, comprising of 300 companies across 7,000 acres and employing 65,000 workers. Apple is expected to employ around 2,700 people by 2032 in the sector.

Apple is currently occupying a MetLife office building in Cary until the new campus is complete. It completed 19.3 million in renovations on the building alone.

While Apple will likely want to take advantage of tax breaks and other benefits, there are other issues that have cropped up since its plans for the campus began. Hiring at Apple has become more deliberate in some sectors, the pandemic has caused more people to want to work from home, and the idea of another major campus when Apple Park fights to fill its massive halls all add up to a difficult conundrum Apple must face.