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Apple receives final approval for new 'spaceship' campus

As part of its final agreement for construction of the 176-acre campus, Apple has agreed to increase the amount of taxes it pays to the city in the form of a reduced sales tax rebate.

Apple plans to turn a "sea of asphalt" into a green space / UFO landing pad.

The Cupertino City Council on Tuesday gave its final approval to the construction of Apple's planned 176-acre Campus 2, better known as the company's "spaceship" campus.

The vote, largely a formality after the council unanimously approved construction of the 2.8-million-square-foot building last month, allows Apple to enter a 20-year development agreement with the city and pick up its official building permits on Wednesday. Apple plans to begin demolition of office buildings on the former Hewlett-Packard campus by the end of the year, with the first phase of construction expected to be completed by 2016.

"Go for it," Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney said after Tuesday's unanimous vote in favor of the project, according to a MacRumors account of the meeting. "We're eager to see it happen. Go for it."

As part of the final agreement, Apple has agreed to increase the amount of taxes it pays to the city of Cupertino in the form of a reduction in a sales tax rebate the city gives the company each year. Instead of the 50 percent sales tax rebate that Cupertino gave the company last year, it will now refund only 35 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times. Of the $12.7 million in sales tax Apple generated for Cupertino last year, the city refunded $6.2 million back to Apple, the Times reported.

The centerpiece of the new campus will be a four-story ring-shaped building of curved glass and steel surrounded by more than 7,000 trees. First referred to as a "spaceship" by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs himself in 2011, the new building is expected to accommodate more than 14,000 employees.