The independent news organization of Duke University

Apple is planning a new campus. Could it be in the Triangle?

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Fuqua ’88, may have been visiting North Carolina last week for more than a commencement speech at Duke.

His company announced in January that it intends to build a new Apple campus, but has gone about the search without publicly soliciting offers from localities. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Northern Virginia is in the running for the new location—but it may not be the only East Coast site in contention. A Bloomberg analysis released earlier this month listed North Carolina as one of the states that would likely be in the running for the new campus based on a variety of factors, from tax incentives to human capital.

"While we talk to many companies and their executive teams about the advantages North Carolina can offer their businesses, we do not comment on the details of these discussions until a site selection decision has been publicly released," wrote David Rhoades, communications director of the N.C. Department of Commerce, in an email to The Chronicle Wednesday.

Cook reportedly met with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper Friday while in town for Duke's commencement, according to reports based on multiple anonymous sources from WRAL and the Triangle Business Journal and one anonymous source from the News and Observer.

North Carolina is already home to one of Apple's data centers, and several members of Apple’s leadership have connections to the Triangle area. 

Cook graduated from the Fuqua School of Business with a Master of Business Administration in 1988, and Eddy Cue—senior vice president of internet software and services at Apple—graduated from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics in 1986. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams also has a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Fuqua.

Unlike Apple, Amazon has not been quiet in its search for a new headquarters. It announced in January that Raleigh was one of 20 finalists for its second North American headquarters. 

The factors that are drawing Amazon to the Triangle may be similar to what would draw other large technology companies, said Anthony Copeland, North Carolina’s secretary of commerce, to The Chronicle in April.

"Some of the things that are drawing Amazon are what would draw any tech company, a company looking for intellectual horsepower," he said. "We’ve gone from horsepower to megabytes and gigabits now, but we’re a destination place for employees. No one is going to locate somewhere they expect the employees to fall out of an airplane."

The new campus is part of Apple’s effort to spend $30 billion and hire around 20,000 employees in the United States, expanding beyond the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. 

The tech giant said in its January release that the location of the new facility will be announced later in the year.

Bre Bradham contributed reporting.