Last fall, GT Advanced, a supplier of sapphire glass for Apple, abandoned their plans to use the building Apple purchased for them at Signal Butte and Elliot in Mesa. This was the second time that the building’s users closed shop, as the original construction was for First Solar, who made huge cutbacks globally before move-in was complete.
Governor Doug Ducey announced today that Apple will be establishing a “command center” and data center for its global operations at the facility, and promises to invest $2 billion into the facility over the next 30 years. This command center is expected to bring 150 full-time long term jobs, as well as 300-500 short term construction jobs during build-out. This facility will act as a command center for five data centers in the U.S. on this facility and four others. Apple’s data centers are used for iCloud, Siri, iTunes, and other cloud-based Apple products.
Construction of the new data center and command center will start late next year or even possibly earlier. The start of construction is delayed due to the fact that GT still has equipment on the facility including massive furnaces it is trying to liquidate.
Governor Ducey said that Apple’s decision “is a huge win for Arizona and a high testament to our business-friendly climate and talented workforce. This expansion will bring a significant economic investment, and propel Arizona’s position as one of the best states in the nation in which to do business.”
The facility is huge, covering over 1.3 million square feet. Apple plans to run the facility with solar power, producing the equivalent of what it would take to power 14,500 homes.