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Apple to build new manufacturing plant in Arizona

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MESA, Ariz. -

It's the most valuable company in the world and it's coming to the east valley.

Apple and the state of Arizona put rumors to rest Monday, announcing the high-tech giant is expanding by opening a giant manufacturing plant in Mesa.  

The plant is located at Signal Butte and Elliott Roads in Mesa near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on the site of the old General Motors proving grounds.  It's the size of 43 football fields inside -- as big as an entire regional mall -- that's a big place!

The plant was built by Tempe-based First Solar to manufacture solar systems, but that didn't pan out and the building hasn't been used for much.

First Solar put the building on the market and sold it for over $100 million and we've learned Apple will be moving in.

700 jobs in the first year -- Apple employees.

Some 2,000 total when you count all the construction work and other services to get the plant rolling.

Governor Jan Brewer says she is thrilled to have Apple here in the valley because the company will have an incredibly positive economic impact for the state.

The Governor's office and the Arizona Commerce Authority lobbied Apple to come to Arizona, as did Scott Smith, the Mayor of Mesa.

"To have a company like Apple choose to come to Mesa and establish manufacturing facility.. great for Mesa and all of us," said Smith.

Inside the Apple plant, good jobs paying $50,000 a year, according to Smith.

The addition of Apple brings another high-tech powerhouse to the east valley.  Intel, of course, has a huge operation in nearby Chandler.

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