Apple's 'Spaceship' campus is moving in, residents complain

- Apple’s new spaceship campus won't fully open until the end of the year but already Apple Park is giving residents living in one neighborhood along the Cupertino-Sunnyvale city line problems.

Frustration has been mounting in the Birdland neighborhood of Sunnyvale since the tech giant began construction. Residents worry it will only get worse when all 12,000 employees move in.

As Apple employees slowly move into its spaceship headquarters in phases, Bonnie Lieberman longs for the days her Sunnyvale neighborhood of 14 years was quiet. It’s now disrupted by construction noise from her towering new neighbor.

“While I appreciate Apple and I like their products,” said Bonnie Lieberman of Sunnyvale. “I just feel like a residential neighborhood wasn't the best place to put a large office complex.”

She said what’s worse is the traffic with many drivers using her street during commute hours to bypass congestion and road closures. She’s taken the complaints to the city and fears it's just the beginning.

“They’ve told us well we have to wait and see,” said Lieberman. “I think if you look at a map you will see this is how it's going to be.”

“There are permitted parking zones that you can implement, certainly traffic calming devices a possibility we will need to see what the data shows,” said City of Sunnyvale Spokeswoman Jennifer Garnett.

The City of Sunnyvale said it's working with Apple, and the city of Cupertino, reviewing a baseline traffic study and monitoring the data for the next five years.

The tech giant is setting aside $500,000 for the City of Sunnyvale, part of a $1.3 million agreement to VTA and Caltrans to address traffic and parking concerns.

In a statement to KTVU, Apple said, “Long before we even broke ground for Apple Park, we have been connecting with our neighbors and doing our best to address their concerns. We're also proud to be investing $70 million for transit and other infrastructure around our new campus which will benefit our neighbors.”

“It’s definitely more of a headache,” said Kevin Harral of Sunnyvale. “I've got little kids that want to be able to play out here.”

Kevin Harral remains cautious. He lives on Nightingale Avenue, where their view of the campus is a brick wall. His biggest concern is Apple employees could soon use his neighborhood as a parking lot.

“I don't really want to go through a permit system on my own street. It would bother me significantly if we had to go that route just to keep employees off,” said Harral.

Housing prices near the new Apple campus are going up with more families moving out and more renters moving in. Lieberman and Harral both said they don’t plan to leave anytime soon.
 

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