The 1 million-square-foot Apple building has had a change of plans. The building that was initially to be First solar, then GT Advanced technologies (manufacturing sapphire glass for Apple) will now be a data center for Apple.
When the 1 million-square-foot building was to be a 700-employee manufacturing facility, incentives and tax credits were committed on the condition that Apple and GT Advanced Technologies delivered the promised jobs with the expected benefits and designated salaries. The manufacturing effort failed, so no incentives were paid out by the state or Mesa.
The new Apple facility doesn’t meet the legislative minimum requirements to receive the credits and rebates, so Apple will bring on a team without incentives.
Apple will receive a sales tax credit for energy use – a credit available to any manufacturing business in Arizona. The law making this possible was passed as a result of the GT Advanced move, but it is a tax break for business needed to make Arizona competitive on a global and national scale.
Mesa did fund the infrastructure when First Solar first proposed its manufacturing facility. However, the improvements to transportation, utilities and telecommunications are also serving a broader area and designed to make this technology corridor “shovel-ready.”