By Aaron Dorman | Pinal Central
CASA GRANDE — Lucid Motors is just the start. Casa Grande could have four “high-level projects,” as Mayor Craig McFarland described them, that would significantly impact the community. He just couldn’t identify them yet for legal reasons.
“Hang onto your hats,” McFarland said, “the ride is here.”
During a Biz Outlook Luncheon on Friday at The Property Conference Center, McFarland took a light, even self-effacing tone, as he went through a roundup of recent business projects coming into the city, joking about past mega projects that fizzled such as the too-aptly-named Dreamport Village, and the recent census undercount, which saw Casa Grande fall behind neighbor Maricopa in population.
“My friend, the mayor of Maricopa (Christian Price), texted me when the census numbers came out, to boast,” McFarland said. “So I sent back my own text: ‘We own the business, we own the jobs, just send us your people.’”
Despite the lower-than-expected census numbers, McFarland touted Casa Grande as “the focus of Pinal County” and “the heart of Arizona’s innovation tech center” due to the presence of companies like Jomi Engineering and Lucid, whose manufacturing center is expecting to have 1,400 jobs by the end of the year. Jomi is a supplier for Lucid.