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Apple to Invest $2 Billion to Create 'Command Center'

The new plant will employ 150 people.

Reuters / Robert Galbraith

Apple will invest $2 billion to convert a failed sapphire glass manufacturing plant in Arizona into a data center that will also serve as a global “command center,” in an investment that it described as one of the company’s largest.

The facility in Mesa is expected to employ about 150 full-time staff once it opens, not counting the estimated 600 construction and trade jobs it will create.

Apple partnered with GT Advanced Technologies Inc. in 2013 to construct a manufacturing facility in Mesa, which it hoped would produce scratch-resistant screens for its products. Instead, GTAT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October and closed the plant, without ever having produced usable material.

The factory was to have created 2,000 jobs.

The Cupertino technology giant expects to begin construction in 2016, once GT vacates the site. Like other Apple data centers, this one would be powered by renewable energy.

“We’re proud to continue investing in the U.S. with a new data center in Arizona, which will serve as a command center for our global networks,” said Apple spokesperson Rachel Wolf.

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