A company that will make small pieces of high-tech glass for Apple products plans to employ about 700 people at the now-vacant First Solar Inc. factory in east Mesa.
This is the first significant Arizona presence for Apple Inc., which is buying the building for its supplier, GT Advanced Technologies Inc. Apple looked closely at the Phoenix area about two years ago before deciding to award a much larger facility to Austin.
The deal, which was announced by GT in a regulatory filing Monday afternoon, is seen as a coup for Arizona, drawing excitement and praise from Gov. Jan Brewer, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and a variety of economic development officials.
The project also will create 1,300 construction-related jobs to get the facility ready for production, Brewer said in a statement.