In 2013, Apple began the search for a location to build a factory that would make stronger glass for it’s numerous high-tech devices. In order to entice the technology giant, the city undertook many large projects to make itself more desirable to Apple, as they were hoping for something to help them rebound after suffering a huge housing crash back in 2007. After losing out to the state of Texas in becoming Apple’s new operation’s hub, the state of Arizona, and specifically the city of Mesa, was bound and determined to win this economy-altering project.
The building and property purchased by GT Advanced Technologies, was originally slated for First Solar, Inc., who pulled out of their project in 2012, which would have brought 600, and potentially 4,000 more jobs.
The new facility which opened in early 2014, brought 700 full-time jobs and 1,300 temporary construction jobs to the Mesa, AZ area.
This acquisition is a great victory for Mesa commercial real estate as in the fairly recent past the Phoenix metro area also saw the losses of Jabil Circuit Company and Motorola, eliminating thousands of jobs.
On the Bloomberg website, Scott Smith, the mayor of Mesa said, “Any time you have a company like Apple come in and invest in your area, especially with this type of operation, it’s significant.”
Apple is motivated to continue to bring more manufacturing jobs domestically as they have received continued criticism for how much of their manufacturing is done in China. They recently opened a facility in Austin, Texas to manufacture the new Mac Pro desktop computer.
One added benefit of having the Apple facility in Mesa is that it has spurred inquires from other companies who are interested in building facilities near the Apple plant, thus improving the market for Mesa commercial real estate.
The gargantuan facility is the size of approximately 10 football fields and is located on land that was once the site of the General Motors test tracks.