Cupertino City Council endorses Apple campus

CUPERTINO, California (AP) Apple’s plans for a massive new campus in Silicon Valley that co-founder Steve Jobs likened to a spaceship have cleared a major hurdle.

The San Jose Mercury News reports the City Council in Cupertino, where Apple’s current headquarters is also based, unanimously approved the estimated $5 billion project on Tuesday.

Plans call for nearly 3.5 million square feet (0.33 million sq. meters) of new office space, a 1,000-seat auditorium and a fitness center on the 176-acre (71-hectare) campus. Apple would demolish existing office and research and development buildings.

The main, ring-shaped building would be a little more than 2.8 million square feet (0.26 million sq. meters) alone. The project is expected to be completed in 2016.

The city’s planning commission gave its endorsement earlier this month and the project only needs one more largely perfunctory vote from the City Council next month.

Apple now employs about 16,000 people in and around Cupertino.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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