RALEIGH – The state of North Carolina reiterated again on Monday that Apple could still be bringing an economic development project to the state even though the tech giant’s announcement in December about new expansion didn’t include an N.C. location.

As WRAL TechWire has reported, the Department of Commerce has continued to say it would not comment about Apple because of the possible negotiations for expansion and new jobs.

Responding to an inquiry from WRAL TechWire, David Rhoades, Communications Director for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, wrote in an email: “This remains an active recruitment project for North Carolina.”

On Dec. 28, WRAL TechWire and The Triangle Business Journal both reported that a group possibly associated with Apple had acquired a substantial amount of land in Research Triangle Park. The site has been rumored to be a possible destination for a new Apple campus for about a year.

“We do not discuss active economic development projects, until a company makes a public announcement regarding where that project will locate,” Rhoades said at that time.

Gov. Roy Cooper also has said Apple remains a project possibility. And spokespeople for RTP as well as the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce have refused to discuss Apple.

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The inquiry was sent to Rhodes following an announcement earlier in the day about new jobs and expansions secured for the state in 2018.

Rhoades also said that the state was reviewing public records requests for information about the Apple project.

Apple graphic

Where Apple will have employees by 2022. North Carolina was not included.

“As I know won’t surprise you, we have a number of records requests in queue for this particular project, and we will certainly produce all responsive records at the appropriate time,” Rhoades wrote.

“However, because we realize there are some expectations and assumptions regarding when we will produce these records, I want you to know that at the present time, we don’t know when that time will be.

“While we’re certainly aware of the company’s December 13 announcement involving expansions in other locations, including Austin, that news isn’t relevant to our case.  This remains an active recruitment project for North Carolina.”