By Poornima Gupta
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's chief financial officer is asking the residents of Cupertino, California, to support the company's new 2.8 million square foot spaceship-like campus, which critics say would increase traffic and pressure city services.
In a brochure mailed last week to its neighbors in the Silicon Valley city, Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer asked them to write a letter, attend a public meeting, or let the company use their names in support of its building plans, according to one of the people who received it. A response card was included for respondents to express support and comment on the plans.
The brochure included renderings and details of the project, dubbed "Campus 2", which Apple wants to build and occupy by the end of 2015. The company said in the brochure that Campus 2 would be in addition to its current headquarters, which will remain at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino.
Oppenheimer touted the design and the benefits of the new campus, saying "what's currently a sea of asphalt will be transformed into nearly 120 acres of green space."
He noted that the 126-acre campus would include wooded walking areas, restaurants and fitness centers, but it would not be open to the public.
The city of Cupertino is due to consider Apple's plans later this year, Oppenheimer said. In a public hearing on Apple's plan last September, many residents expressed concerns about the increase in traffic and the impact of construction on the area.
Apple's plans call for a single building resembling a massive spaceship that would span 2.8 million square feet and be more than four stories high. It will accommodate up to 13,000 employees. Separate buildings for research would be built nearby and occupy about 300,000 square feet.
Oppenheimer said the benefits to Cupertino residents would be new sidewalks, bike lanes and other street improvements.
A solar power installation is in the plans, and Oppenheimer said Campus 2 would use only renewable power.
Apple bought most of the land for the campus from Hewlett Packard, where late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs got one of his first summer jobs after calling HP founder Bill Hewlett to ask for spare parts.
Jobs had personally shown the architectural plans for the new campus to the Cupertino city council last June, despite being ill at the time.
"It's a little like a spaceship landed," Jobs had said of the circular building with its massive interior courtyard.
(Reporting By Poornima Gupta)