CARY – Apple is moving quickly toward establishing an office presence in the Triangle ahead of building a $1 billion campus.

The tech giant will occupy the first three floors of the building located at 301 MetLife Way in Cary, according to building permits and documentation filed with the Town of Cary. The 7-story building was constructed in 2019.

In one of the documents, Zeyad M. Musmar, whose signature line lists the role of project architect with O’Brien Atkins, noted that the company’s client intends to occupy the first three floors, but believes it will be the sole tenant of the facility.

MetLife Building III. (Photo by CommercialEdge)

Another document, marked as approved by the Town of Cary, includes the Apple logo, and corporate name Apple Inc., and describes the first phase of construction for the facility.

Several phone calls to The Town of Cary were not returned. Other phone calls to companies involved in the project also were not returned.

The leasing was first reported by MacRumors.

Once Apple announced expansion plans in April, the company was tied to MetLife as a potential tenant, but the deal reportedly fell through.

The listing for the property, previously accessible on LoopNet, is no longer active.

The commercial broker for the building had previously been listed as Cushman & Wakefield. According to the Triangle Business Journal, Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties (NYSE: HIW) is the owner of the MetLife campus buildings.  The listing of the office property at 301 MetLife Way in Cary was previously marketed as 222,950 square feet of Class A office space, with the entire building available.

How many employees might be based there is not yet known, but according to the “general rule of thumb is to allow anywhere between 125 and 225 usable square feet of office space per person.”

As reported by MacRumors, development plans for the renovation were filed with the Town of Cary at the end of June and were approved on July 8 and 9, clearing the way for the tenancy and construction to begin. The renovations are expected to cost close to $5.5 million, MacRumors said.

The future Apple campus, which is expected to house as many as 3,000 workers with average wages up to $187,001, will receive an investment of some $1 billion from the company. The campus is expected to provide 1 million square feet of office space upon completion.

“This is going to be a really important R&D facility for decades, and they’ve chosen to locate it in North Carolina,” John Connaughton, professor of financial economics at the Belk College of Business at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte told WRAL TechWire recently.

A company doesn’t make this kind of decision, with the scale of its hiring and growth plans, across decades, without believing there’s a talent pipeline present to support growth, argued Connaughton.