Yesterday we visited the new Apple Campus under construction, identified locally as AC2. The entire area (bounded by Pruneridge, Wolfe, Homestead, and Tantau) is bustling with construction activity of many kinds, still in early stages. The first thing you notice, besides the traffic obstructions, is that multiple utility services are installing large scale upgrades to the site. Water, power and telecom workers are visibly working on all sides of the site, with a steady flow of cement trucks and cable spools being unrolled. I think that there were 20 AT&T trucks alone, with teams working above and below the ground. Very large pipes are queued around the site, ready to be installed to bring in water and gas, and other ones are being trucked onto the site itself for installation within.
Multiple buildings on the east side of the project are in use by construction and planning companies. It appeared that most service trucks enter from the east side, as well as many off-road vehicles being used as taxis to bring persons in and out of the construction area proper. One of the buildings on Tantau is marked as Apple Campus 2 Medical Clinic Project Onboarding Office, seeming to indicate the scale of the team required. At one point, I believe I saw Tim Cook in a Hawaiian shirt being shuttled into the project on an off-road vehicle, but was unable to get a photo of him to confirm it. Most of the buildings on the east side of Tantau are occupied by Apple already, and there is also construction going on outside of the AC2 project itself, both north and south of Highway 280. The scale of the project reminds one of the early stages of the Great Pyramid being built, and there are probably 1000 people at work today.
Pruneridge Avenue is the main access way into and out of the main project, with the west access being used by more civilian cars, while the east entrance was mainly large delivery trucks and the off-road vehicle shuttles. Those two entries, plus one other construction management office near Pruneridge & Tantau (with its own parking lot), were the only opened gates on the whole of the perimeter. I have never seen a construction project with a fence of this scale, which looked like an international border fence averaging 12′ in height. Several pedestrian turnstiles were in the fence but locked closed and covered in netting to obscure views. The majority of swinging gates in the fence were locked closed, and appeared able to withstand a vehicle’s impact. At the main eastern Pruneridge entrance, there was a person posted at the street, as well as more formal guard shack about 75 meters within the gate. No regular security officers were visible; everyone on site must wear hard hats and fluorescent vests. The western approach on Pruneridge is still paved, and the road curves so that the actual entrance is not visible from Wolfe. But access is unavailable to civilians, indeed Pruneridge (between Wolfe and Tantau) has become a private road at this stage of the development.
Through the gate at Pruneridge & Tantau is the only area where some of the actual construction is visible. There appear to be large curved mounds of compacted soil being covered by rock and wire mesh, possibly the outer base of the great circular form to come. Some very large steel I-beams are queued nearby, likely to provide support for the tunnel or some other very large features of the structure in progress. At several points around the site, vehicles parked atop the compacted soil are visible as they unload materials. Peeking over the perimeter fence are the great mounds of material being used to feed the on-site concrete plant, and the hoppers that feed that plant. Several large and a couple of huge cranes tower well above everything else on the site.
It really looks like the largest single project I have seen in my life, and appears very well managed. A rare California rain soak the area last night and this morning. Trucks leaving the site were sprayed down before reaching the street, to reduce mud from tracking onto surrounding roads. Street sweeping trucks were circling the place the whole time I was there. The construction management parking lots were filled with trucks from nearly every large scale contractor in the area. And the flow of people and materials was constant. It probably looks like a giant ant mound from satellites, with activity everywhere. Security is certainly substantial.
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Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.