RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – If Apple does conclude negotiations on a deal to bring thousands of jobs to the Triangle, the project could transform the region.

Apple is one of the big names in technology that operate in the Triangle, along with IBM, Red Hat, Google, Cisco, Cree and SAS. But there are challenges – from roads, to schools to real estate – if Apple comes to RTP. And looming on the horizon is the possibility of Amazon’s HQ2 with its 50,000 jobs.

Although smaller than HQ2, Apple could still impact your life.

The big questions surrounding Apple’s potential move to the Triangle are when, where, how many jobs and what will those jobs pay? The bottom line – if Apple does come here, the impact will be transformative.

However, elected officials won’t say much about the deal.

“We cannot and will not comment on speculative reports regarding any specific recruitment effort,” said Sen. Phil Berger, president pro tem of the state Senate.

But a deal is imminent, sources have told WRAL TechWire. The Wake County Board of Commissioners has authorized local economic development officials to discuss incentives with Apple representatives.

Lawmakers included changes to a major state incentives program in the state budget, which Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Wednesday. The tweaks seem tailored to make it easier for Apple to obtain tax breaks, although legislative leaders have denied the changes were made with any specific company in mind.

“These changes that will  be in the budget to our job recruitment and economic development programs are not for any specific company,” Berger said. “These changes were made based on conversations we’ve had with several companies we’ve nearly missed on bringing to North Carolina.”

The likely landing spot for Apple, based on a WRAL News analysis, is a pair of open lots in the southern part of Research Triangle Park. Both sit just north of N.C. Highway 540 in Wake County.

Developers John Kane, who is chairman of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and Smedes York, chairman of the Research Triangle Foundation, which manages RTP, won’t talk about specifics regarding the Apple project.

Both, however, note the importance of both Apple and Amazon.

“We don’t get those opportunities too often, so we’ve got to put our best face forward and make sure those companies know what our region has to offer,” Kane said.

Sources tell WRAL News and WRAL TechWire that Apple would start with 1,000 customer service jobs in Cary.

Add a $2 billion investment, and Apple could hire between 2,000 and 4,000 high-tech researchers and developers at an average salary of $130,000 to work in RTP.

York said the region can support growth.

“You want to continue to have companies look at you because they’re looking at you for the reasons that benefit people already here as well,” York explained. “The community is growing and can accommodate growth.”

Apple’s reputation in innovation is certainly attractive to local business and state leaders.

You need to look no further than Apple’s new headquarters building in Cupertino, Calif., outside of San Francisco. The so-called “Spaceship” is a circle that’s a mile around, and about 12,000 people work there.

Apple is also on the verge of becoming the country’s first company worth $1 trillion.