The Cupertino-based Mac maker has purchased a roughly 43-acre development site in North San Jose in a blockbuster real estate transaction that raises tantalizing questions about the company’s plans there.
The deal for developer Lowe Enterprises’ so-called “n1 Campus” closed last week, according to public records. Apple paid just more than $138 million for the property at 2347 North First St., according to a deed that was examined in person by a bizjounral correspondent on Monday at the Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. That’s a big markup over the $39 million that Lowe and its joint-venture partner, Five Mile Capital Partners, paid back in 2010.
The deal comes on the heels of Apple’s lease of roughly 300,000 square feet from Ellis Partners in an already constructed building practically next door, marking Apple’s biggest push into San Jose. But that apparently was table stakes to the deal completed last week. Apple tends to grow wherever it leases or buys real estate, and the latest transaction shows that dynamic clearly playing out.
The possibilities with the latest transaction are wide open: The undeveloped land is approved for up to 2.8 million square feet of office space — about the same size as Apple’s under-construction Spaceship campus in Cupertino. But Lowe had been marketing plans from global architecture firm Gensler to build 1.8 million square feet in a sleek urban-style campus setting. If Apple built out that much office space, it could hold more than 14,000 workers. But it might be premature to assume what Apple has in mind: Apple could have its own program at the site. As of Monday, no new building plans had been turned in for the project.