RALEIGH – Information about a new Apple campus coming to Research Triangle Park and whether the Triangle will land Amazon’s HQ2 is about as precious – and scarce – as bitcoins. But Gov. Roy Cooper is “hopeful” deals will be announced soon about tech projects although he didn’t specify either Apple or Amazon in a brief media session on Tuesday.

With $6.5 billion in investment and 60,000 jobs at stake, if not more, and the companies insisting on secrecy, those few people outside Apple and Amazon who are in the know won’t talk. Source after source who have provided information about both projects have gone silent over the past two weeks. “Nothing new,” they say. “Haven’t heard anything.” Or, “Can’t help you.”

Yet sources are consistent on another more positive point:

No one has told either either Raleigh or the Triangle or the state that Apple and Amazon have decided to pass on growing here.

Rumors continue to circulate about both projects, such as sites for construction, but not enough information has been backed up to take the talk from speculation to confirmation.

Even the news earlier this week as reported by WRAL TechWire that the Town of Garner has approved a major project that could be a distribution center for Amazon (not HQ2) failed to move the information meter about HQ2 or Apple.

Cooper on Tuesday was asked for updates on the projects by WRAL  Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie. He didn’t have much to offer.

“We obviously have made our proposal and we’re still waiting to hear back from them,” Cooper said. “We have not heard back from them. I think they are still working through all of the places that they’ve visited.”

The Triangle is one of 20 announced finalists for Amazon HQ2. Reports have been that Amazon is continuing to review proposals with a cut down to a handful of metros before a winner is declared later this year.

As for Apple, WRAL and WRAL TechWire have been reporting since early May that North Carolina is a likely choice for the tech giant’s new tech campus and up to 10,000 jobs. Additionally, Apple is considering a major expansion of its data center complex in western N.C.

Apple refuses to comment publicly about the status of the expansion plan that CEO Tim Cook (a Duke alum) promised earlier this year.
And Cooper wouldn’t even confirm talks with Apple even though media outlets have reported that Cooper met face-to-face with Cook in May.

“Well, the Amazon one has been public,” Cooper told Leslie.
He next volunteered that the state is in the running for other projects, although he offered no specifics.

“Other technology companies that are out there looking at North Carolina – those are not public,” Cooper said.
A hopeful note

Then came a very interesting comment.

“But I will say that we work very hard to attract good companies to North Carolina with good-paying jobs, and I’m hopeful that some announcements will be made soon.”

“How soon?” Leslie asked.

“We don’t know,” Cooper replied.

“These companies have their own timetable about when they make decisions. I know that we work hard to put North Carolina’s best face forward, and North Carolina has so much going for it, with our strong workforce, our universities, our quality of life, our lower cost of living compared to where a number of these companies are.

“All of that, I think, will draw good-paying jobs to our state, and we’re working it very hard.”

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Cooper’s comments align with others who have warned that leaks about Apple and HQ2 could jeopardize North Carolina’s chances.

The Skinny asked Leslie: Based on what Cooper had to say, is North Carolina still in the running for both Apple and Amazon HQ2?

“It certainly sounds like it,” she said.

“I can say the governor smiled more when he was talking about Apple,  but that may just be because he was trying to talk about Apple without talking about Apple.”

Leslie and fellow WRAL.com reporter Travis Fain along with other WRAL team members continue to pursue all the job project talk. What other prospects could the governor have been referring to?

“We keep hearing that they’re talking to ‘tech companies’ plural,” Leslie said. “That might be just be a way to avoid mentioning or implying Apple in particular, but it’s also possible we could be in the running for other projects.

“After all, the same qualities that have proven attractive to Amazon and Apple would be attractive to a lot of companies looking to expand in an area with a big tech workforce and a relatively lower cost of living than Silicon Valley or Boston.”

WRAL TechWire has reported that the Triangle is being considered as a possible site for expansion by several companies, including at least one “unicorn” – a reference to an emerging entrepreneurial company valued at more than $1 billion – or “decacorn.” one with a $10 billion-plus valuation.

Finally, The Skinny asked Leslie how she reads the political tea leaves about the projects.

“I get the sense that political leaders and negotiators are more bullish on Apple than on Amazon,” she said. “But they’re also even more unwilling than usual to mention the company’s name because the company has requested confidentiality. ”