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10/25/2010
07:23 PM
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Apple Planning Office Complex With Data Center

The build site is located just across the street from Apple's new data center.

Apple's data center in Maiden, North Carolina, may be almost ready to open for business but it's only half done. An architectural rendering of Project Dolphin, as the data center project is known, reveals a second phase that involves the construction of a second structure.

Apple's Data Center Expansion
(click image for larger view)
Apple's Data Center Expansion

This is consistent with a report published by the Charlotte Business Journal stating that Apple may be looking to double the size of its 500,000 square foot data center.

What's more, Apple has acquired 79 acres of land across the street from its data center to accommodate a high-rise office complex.

Bill Wagenseller, a local real estate agent who has achieved some measure of fame posting videos of flights over Apple's data center on YouTube, says that the talk among his associates is that this is where Apple will be "going after the cable market." That is to say he believes Apple's media streaming business will be based here.

Wagenseller says that Apple acquired the land for its high-rise office about the same time as it bought the land for its data center. He says that apart from one couple that sold their property to Apple for an enormous profit, Apple's investment in the area hasn't caused local property values to appreciate significantly.

The Catawba County Economic Development Corporation's Web site says that Apple's data center represents a $1 billion investment over the course of ten years, so adding a second data center structure is probably already in that budget.

What's not clear is whether a second data center structure would double the square footage of the project, which is listed at a half-million square feet and due for completion in late 2010. It's possible that the 500,000 square foot figure includes the planned expansion and that the portion that's ready to open only consists of 250,000 square feet of space.

Apple and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation did not respond to requests for comment.

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