Apple needs and acre of land, farmers need $1.7 million for it

When Apple needed land for their $1 billion dollar data center the farmers who owned it decided they needed $1.7 million to sell. Not bad considering they bought it for $6,000 just 34 years ago.

“They told us to put a price on it and we did,” said Kathy Fulbright, 62, seated on a brown leather sofa in the living room of the home she and her husband built with the proceeds. The 49-acre property boasts a 4,200-square-foot house with a Jacuzzi in the master bathroom, as well as a manmade pond stocked with bass and catfish.

Other farmers in the area are apparently sizing up supercars should Google or Microsoft decide they simply must move into the neighborhood as well.

Apple meanwhile aims to finish the data center, dubbed "Project Dolphin" this year and we aim to keep speculating on just what they may use it for. streaming media to iPhone and iPad tops the list, followed by amped up MobileMe services, remote backups, and everything else that comes with massive investment in cloud infrastructure.

Now excuse us as we try to lock up all the rest of that land, Scooby Doo villain-like, and wait for our Apple-bucks payoff...!


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple needs and acre of land, farmers need $1.7 million for it


A data center that big will probably be used for virtualization services. I wonder if they'll release a 4g thin laptop that does all it's computing remotely. One that will happen

It must be great when you live next to a billion dollar corporation which is looking to expand.

Apple must have really wanted that specific plot of land. Otherwise they could have just gone down the road to the next farm and offered less. Either way, no faulting the people for cashing in...

I think it awesome that they got to cash in like that.. if apple wouldve given them anything less, it would have just been rude... when you got 30 Bill in the bank, 1.7 to some farmers giving up their home isn't much.

It's a little high for farmland, but land in general isn't cheap. I recently spoke to a developer who wanted $1 million an acre for commercially-zoned land in a suburban area of the Midwest.

I can imagine a conversation like this: (farmer and wife sit down in Apple conference room)
Apple: Thanks for joining us today. We'd like to negotiate for that acre of land bordering our campus.
Farmer: It's our land. We raised our kids on it, and they're going to raise their kids on it. You can't put a price on that.
Apple: That land is very important to us. Name us a price and we'll see what we can do.
Farmer: (Scoffing) Fine. You'll need to give us at least a million dollars to give up our land.
Farmer's Wife: Make that at least a million and half!
Farmer: That's telling em honey!
Apple: Excellent! We'll draw up the papers this afternoon. (gets up and walks out)
(Farmer and wife are dumbfounded for a minute)
Farmer: Wait! Did I say 1, I meant 5 million!

These stories crack me up, this is being built right outside where I grew up. It is less than 5 minutes from my parents house and the place is huge. Right now it looks to only employ 40 full time people.

When it's all hardware, you don't necessarily need a lot of people to keep it running. It's not going to be an office.

Massive doesn't even begin to describe it. I live less than 20 minutes away and the thing is beyond huge. Too bad they aren't hiring more. E could use the jobs.