- Tech giant Apple announced Wednesday that it will invest in a $1 billion expansion of its Reno, NV, data center, doubling the size of its existing facility there, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
- Apple made the announcement at a meeting of the Reno City Council, which also approved the company's purchase of land for a $4 million downtown warehouse, making it eligible for millions in sales tax abatements on equipment for the expansion. The new deal, combined with incentives for its original $1 billion data center, could bring Apple's sales tax rate down to 0.5%.
- The data center expansion is expected to generate 300 construction jobs and 100 permanent positions, adding to the 717 Apple employees already working at the existing data center and at Nevada retail stores.
Apple has been a big part of the major wave of tech company development in northern Nevada. Also bringing additional business into the Reno area is electric car maker Tesla. The company is building a $5 billion battery "gigafactory" there. Switch, developer of SUPERNAP data centers, is also constructing a $1 billion data center in Reno.
At the end of 2015, the issuance of county business licenses was up 41%, an increase largely attributed to the construction happening at the Tesla facility. In addition, Steve Hill, the director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said business recruiting efforts were much easier as companies wanted to relocate and follow in Tesla's northern Nevada footsteps.
A competitor of Tesla's, however, Faraday Future has not had such an easy time getting established farther south in North Las Vegas. Construction on its $1 billion factory shut down in November amid rumors of late payments and the company's alleged financial instability. The company said its still on track to build a plant in that location but said it has plans underway to build a smaller facility first instead.
State officials gave Faraday approximately $320 million in total incentives to build its factory in North Las Vegas, but they are tied to certain conditions like maintaining a construction escrow account, a requirement the company has failed to meet at least once.