CUPERTINO (KPIX 5) — Apple became the first American company to hit the sky-high milestone of becoming a trillion dollar business on Thursday.
For much of its history it has been a darling of the city, but as Apple hits this major milestone, the company’s size and impact on the region, it is also a cause for concern.
Long before there was a space ship campus, before the MacBook, the iPhone and Thursday’s trillion dollar valuation, Apple got its start at a modest Los Altos home on Crist Avenue in where Steve Jobs grew up.
The garage to that home was where he and Steve Wozniak made the first Apple computers.
It’s now an official historical landmark and a must-see tourist spot for Apple fans like Andrea Bertolini and her friends from Turin, Italy.
“To see this beautiful place and imagine what became after just an idea from Steve Jobs. It’s just amazing,” said Bertolini.
The success has not been Apple’s alone. Ron Fredrick started buying apple stock when he moved into the neighborhood 30 years ago.
The retired Lockheed engineer now owns hundreds of Apple shares and delights in helping tourists take their shots of the Apple landmark. To him, the company has been a very good neighbor.
“Apple didn’t used to pay dividends. Now that they pay dividends, my wife and I use that money to pay taxes, to travel. We don’t have to look for other investments,” said Fredrick.
But other apple neighbors are not as happy. Although people who live near the new Apple park have seen their home values skyrocket, they say living in the area has its downsides.
Years of traffic from construction, followed by a spike in tourist and Uber traffic, have taken a toll on Cupertino’s quality of life.
Tara Sreekrishnan grew up in Cupertino and is now running for city council.
“A lot of folks are leaving. A lot are being priced out. A lot are leaving just because of the increased traffic,” said Sreekrishnan.
She was in favor of Apple paying a head tax in Cupertino, a measure that was shelved until 2020 Tuesday night.
Some city officials are now talking about a far-off futuristic hyperloop transit system for the region they want Apple to help pay for.
“I think we all need to work together, Apple and the city, to make sure that we can all benefit,” said Sreekrishnan.