In a $113.57 million deal, Apple Inc. has purchased a brand-new, 1.3 million-square-foot industrial property on an 83-acre site in Mesa, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.
The complex is situated within Eastmark, a 3,200-acre master-planned community being developed by DMB Associates. Apple will join Grand Canyon University and BASIS Mesa, which have already set up shop at Eastmark. The facility was designed to house a cadmium telluride (“CdTe”) PV module manufacturing factory for First Solar Inc, a Tempe-based provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. However, First Solar never commissioned manufacturing at the facility. On October 3, 2013, the company entered into an agreement to sell the facility to an unnamed buyer, later identified as Apple Inc.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has purchased the compound for its supplier, GT Advanced Technologies Inc., which will use the facility to manufacture sapphire-glass goods and other components used in Apple products. As part of a multi-year agreement with Apple, Merrimack, N.H.-based GT will deliver low-cost, high-volume sapphire material. GT plans to employ over 700 people in the first year. Additionally, the project is expected to generate approximately 1,300 construction and associated jobs. Apple will provide an estimated $578 million prepayment, which GT will reimburse over five years starting in 2015, the company said in a statement.
“Apple’s commitment to manufacturing that will rely on renewable energy further demonstrates its forward-thinking, progressive nature and Arizona’s advanced capabilities in producing and delivering renewable power,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Salt River Project has been instrumental in working with Apple to create additional advanced renewable energy sources that will power next-generation manufacturing.”
Rendering of the First Solar facility in Mesa via DMB Associates