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Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple Pays Couple $1.7m For 1 Acre Plot 215

Posted by timothy
from the good-work-if-you-can-get-it dept.
itwbennett writes "Chris Nerney is blogging about Apple's $1.7 million purchase of a 1-acre lot in Maiden, N.C. where it plans to build a $1 billion, 500,000 sq. ft. data center. The couple who owned the land, and the home that sat on the land, Donnie and Kathy Fulbright (hereafter known as Apple's shrewdest investors) reportedly 'rejected two previous offers from Apple before being told to name their price,' says Nerney."
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Apple Pays Couple $1.7m For 1 Acre Plot

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  • blog spam (Score:5, Informative)

    by CaptainDefragged (939505) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:09AM (#33850200)
    Blog spam. Here is [bloomberg.com] the actual story.
  • More details (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:11AM (#33850214)

    The actual article is at Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-05/apple-s-data-needs-mean-1-7-million-jacuzzi-for-carolina-pair.html [bloomberg.com]

    The article linked in the summary is just a blog post condensing the Bloomberg article, which contains much more information including the tax incentives that NC's state and local governments used to attract Apple, the revenue prospects those incentives were designed to entice, Apple's purposes in building the data center, and, for the human interest angle, more on the family involved and their plans for the proceeds from the land sale. Really, why in the world would anyone have submitted a crummy, abbreviated blog post over a decent article from a reputable source?

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:14AM (#33850232) Homepage
    It's right next to their data center.

    Obviously worth it to them. And probably about what they're used to paying for land in Cupertino. :b

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:50AM (#33850370) Journal
    In Cupertino, the $1.7 million wouldn't buy half that amount of land.
  • Re:More details (Score:3, Informative)

    by confused one (671304) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:54AM (#33850384)
    It's a data warehouse. How many people do you think it takes to operate? And for what it's worth, it says nothing about minimum wage in the article.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:06AM (#33850420) Journal
    Oh dang, guys, I totally messed up in the calculation above. It's a 49 acre piece of property, not a 1 acre piece (it seems they kept the acre with the house on it, but I might be reading the story wrong, it's not clear to me at this point). I'll bet they didn't make more than $0.5 million extra over Apple's original offer; I'd bet that the land would have sold for $1.2 million if Apple weren't desperate. Much less than my original braindead guess.
  • For Those Curious (Score:3, Informative)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:08AM (#33850428) Homepage
    500,000 square feet == 11.48 acres
  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:46AM (#33850496)

    Their old plot was 1 acre, sold for this price, they took the money and built a new house on a 49 acre lot somewhere else.

  • by Blymie (231220) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:46AM (#33850498)

    No, the 49 acre piece of land is where they moved *to*. The price is for their old one acre lot..

  • Re:For Those Curious (Score:2, Informative)

    by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:49AM (#33850502)

    500,000 square feet == 11.48 acres

    == 46 450 m^2

  • Re:More details (Score:3, Informative)

    by Blymie (231220) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:49AM (#33850504)

    There are no editors at /. None. Nada.

    Never has been.

    In fact, calling what Slashdot 'story submission approval' people do, 'editing', is an insult to editors everywhere!

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @03:33AM (#33850598) Journal
    lol now you're thinking as clearly as I am. It wasn't in Cupertino, it was in North Carolina. Apple headquarters are in Cupertino, that's the only way it's related at all.
  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @03:39AM (#33850616) Homepage

    Or for the normal part of the world:
    1 acre = 4 046.85642 square meters
    4 047^(1 / 2) = 63.6160357 meters
    1 700 000 / 4047 = 420 $ / square meter

    500 000 * (square feet) = 46 451.52 square meters
    And yeah:
    46 451.52 / 4 046.86 = 11.4784104

    11.48 * 1.7 = 19.5 million for all the real estate needed at the same price per square meter or 2% of the total cost for the data center even if they had paid the same amount for everyone.

  • Property speculation (Score:3, Informative)

    by drsquare (530038) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @03:47AM (#33850632)

    Beats working for a living. Just ask Donald Trump.

  • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

    by jareds (100340) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @04:30AM (#33850740)
    No, the pond is on the 49-acre property that the couple bought with the proceeds of the sale, not the 1-acre property that they sold.
  • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @04:48AM (#33850798) Journal
    Nothing new. Around here, house prices are determined by professional valuers who have collectively inflated the prices to at least 5 times what they are worth. What did you think caused the crisis? It is just the belief in made-up value, followed by a cold-turkey reality check.
  • Re:fools! (Score:5, Informative)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @06:32AM (#33851062) Journal

    You don't in America either. In fact, in America, you don't even really own the land. You only own the house and other "improvement" ON the land. You rent your land from the government for which you pay annual rent in the form of Property Tax (this is the feudal relationship between Lord and Sovereign that we fought a revolution to get away from, and we're right back there now).

    We have this feudal title system in 48 states. It's possible to own land in allodium only in Texas and Nevada.

  • Re:Fair market price (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:09AM (#33851170)

    In the UK they can be "vested" out by force by government at the "market" value.

    Holding out you need to be careful, you may lose your property for pittance as the government can snap it up for "regeneration" of the area and you have no comeback.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:19AM (#33851200)

    Hire a bunch of people to sit around and do nothing, just so that they can say they are employing more people?

    You realize that a non-trivial factor in our high quality of life is the amazing amount of automation we have. One person accomplishes so much more than they used to, in particular when it comes to trivial tasks. Time was, little got done other than getting food, because it is so important and it took so much time. Most humans spent a lot of their time on farming or hunting. Lead to a low standard of life. Large parts of our population did nothing but work on providing for our most basic need. Now? You get a few, highly educated, people and some heavy equipment and they can handle thousands of acres. Food can be produced cheap because it is so automated.

    Same shit with data storage. Data is cheap and widely available because it is dirt cheap to store. Put a bunch of computers in a building and have a few people mind after them. That's all you need. However you can store and distribute massive amounts of data that way. Make it nice and cheap. Go back to the days of manual card catalogues and physical books and data was a privilege. You had to have money, power or connections to get easy access to data. Basically a university library with good ILL was the only way to truly have access to lots of data, and even then you had to wait and deal with problems. It was labour intensive to get and expensive to store.

    Please remember that efficiency increases don't mean nobody works, it means people work in other areas, or accomplish more. For example in addition to IT support, I also do media for our department. I record talks and things like that. I can do that, because of modern technology. I record to a digital tape, dump it to computer, and edit it right there. Can be done with little of my time. As such, I can do it in addition to other duties. Were it all film, we'd need a dedicated person. Editing would take forever because it is literally a process of hand cutting the film and splicing it back together. Simple edits take a lot of manual time. Not with an NLE program. I can do an edit in a few seconds.

    The idea is we automate more simple things and we can move on to more complex things. Also, it can simply needing to work less to have the same amount of benefit.

  • Re:Fair market price (Score:3, Informative)

    by weav (158099) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:34AM (#33851260)

    That can happen here too; we call it "Eminent Domain". The thing is that one needs the local gummint in one's pocket. Sounds like Apple didn't have it or didn't want to use it.

    There is *some* recourse about the amount of compensation but it requires suing (possibly in Federal court).

  • Re:Fair market price (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:39AM (#33851270)

    Apparently their parcel was needed to run the diverse path fiber into the data center. I hope Apple fires their project manager for committing the whole project when the data access wasn't assured.
    This could have been Apple's data center to nowhere!

  • Mis-characterized (Score:5, Informative)

    by kenh (9056) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:56AM (#33851342) Homepage Journal

    Apple paid $1.7M for an acre adjoining their current datacenter FOR EXPANSION. Apple is not building a 500,000 square foot data center on a one acre lot as the post above would have you believe - to do so would require that Apple build the datacenter at least 12-14 stories tall, since one acre of land is only 43,560 square feet, and after taking in to consideration easements ten largest foot print for the building would be, say, 30,000 square feet (give or take)...

    Thanks CaptainDefragged for link to actual Bloomberg piece on this purchase: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-05/apple-s-data-needs-mean-1-7-million-jacuzzi-for-carolina-pair.html?cmpid=yhoo [bloomberg.com]

  • Re:Fair market price (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:12AM (#33851408)

    In many states (Including North Carolina), Emminent domain cannot be used to transfer property from one private entity to another. It can only be used for "Public Use" projects, i.e. roads, railroads, utility cooridors, etc. If a property is siezed and not used for a "Public Use" project within a specified timeframe, most states have a mechanism for returning the siezed property to the owner it was siezed from.

    If a property was siezed under Emminent domain, and not used for a Public use Project, it cannot simply be turned over to a private developer without first giving the owner it was siezed from an opportunity to buy it back (usually for the original compensation price or fair market value, whichever is lower). Even if they succeed in greasing a judges palm, their is always something known as Appeals. Any developer who tries to bypass this process is likely to lose the land (and more) in court.

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:59AM (#33851656) Homepage

    I'm on a quarter acre ... I admit I don't have a huge house (1400 sq. ft), but it's a reasonable sized home in the suburbs, and I have good sized yard, which would be larger if it weren't for the garage in back (which means much of the yard is driveway). Most "smaller city homes" are much denser. And they tend to be multiple stories (which mine is not)

    For Prince George's County, Maryland (just to the east of Washington, DC), the density residences (a duplex counts as 2 residences) in residential zones, not including apartments buildings are:

    R-A Zone (Residential-Agricultural) :
    one per 2 acres
    R-E Zone (Residential-Estate) :
    1.08 per acre
    R-R Zone (Rural Residential) :
    2.17 per acre (3 per acre in a cluster development)
    R-80 Zone (One-Family Detached Residential) :
    4.58 per acre
    R-55 Zone (One-Family Detached Residential) :
    6.70 per acre
    R-35 Zone (One-Family Semidetached, and Two-Family Detached, Residential) :
    6.70 per acre for single family; 12.44 per acre for duplexes
    R-20 Zone (One-Family Triple-Attached Residential):
    6.70 per acre; 12.44 duplexes; 16.33 townhouses
    R-T Zone (Townhouse) :
    6.70 per acre; 8.00 duplex; 12.00 townhouses in a "transit village"
    R-30 Zone (Multifamily Low Density Residential) :
    6.70 per acre; 8.00 duplex; 12.00 for triplex; 8.00 for townhouses (pre 1996, else 6.00)

    If you're in an area with on-street parking, and a small setback (ie, a "walk-up", without much of a front yard) and a small backyard, you can get 12 homes per acre easily. If it's detatched homes, in a city, 6-8 per acre could provide for a huge home.

  • Re:More details (Score:3, Informative)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:35AM (#33851822) Homepage Journal
    If you're not surrounded by savages, it doesn't take much to secure a property. One or two guys to wander around at night and make sure no drunk kids decide to shoot out/throw rocks at the windows.
  • by EnsilZah (575600) <EnsilZah.Gmail@com> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:02AM (#33851940)

    Also, probably connecting their existing facilities to another plot of land would require licensing technology from Aperture Science.
    Though now that I think of it Apple already supplies them with turrets so I suppose it's something else.

  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:11AM (#33851984) Journal

    I may well be wrong but that falls under cap gains you either buy something else with it or give uncle sam a HUGE chunk of it.

    Not on sale of your primary residence. It's tax free. (though there might be a cap on that, I don't know)

  • Re:Fair market price (Score:2, Informative)

    by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Monday October 11, 2010 @08:42AM (#33858672)

    In many states (Including North Carolina), Emminent domain cannot be used to transfer property from one private entity to another. It can only be used for "Public Use" projects, i.e. roads, railroads, utility cooridors, etc.

    While "Emminent Domain" may not be used, other means can by the gov. There was a case just a short while ago before the SCOTUS about private takings and such. Basically they seized the property so a developer could use it. They justified it by stating it would generate more tax revenue.

    "The Court, on a 5 to 4 vote, held that a city's plan to condemn homes in a residential neighborhood and give the acreage to a private developer for $1 for a 99-year lease to create an upscale development did not violate the Fifth Amendment's requirement that takings of property be for "a public purpose." (Of course, as provided by the Fifth Amendment, the government had to provide "just compensation" for the taking.

    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/Kelo.html [umkc.edu]

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