Tucson Realty


City of Tucson makes formal proposal to Tesla

Tucson going after Tesla’s 6,500 new jobs

The city of Tucson has made a formal proposal to become the home of a $5 billion “gigafactory” for lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.

Tesla Motors Inc.’s planned 10 million-square-foot plant would need up to 1,000 acres of land and create about 6,500 jobs.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said land within the city has been identified with access to the Union Pacific mainline and the interstates.

He also said the city has tax incentives to add to whatever tax incentives are offered by the Arizona Commerce Authority to lure Tesla to the state.

Rothschild said he could not disclose any other information on the city’s proposal.

“But I can say I look forward to meeting with Tesla officials and impressing them with what we have to offer,” he said. “Tesla’s founder wants to put men on Mars and power the world with solar. All our efforts in the state ought to be to bring Tesla to Tucson.”

“We are the home to the Mars exploratory mission at the University of Arizona and known nationally as the Solar City,” Rothschild said. “I think Tesla will feel right at home in Tucson.”

Aside from Arizona, Tesla is looking at sites in Nevada, New Mexico and Texas for the plant, the company has said.

Meanwhile, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith — who is running for governor — announced that he had sent Tesla CEO Elon Musk an invitation to visit Arizona.

“Arizona is on the short list for electric-car maker Tesla Motors’ $5 billion-dollar battery plant along with 6,500 high-value jobs,” Smith wrote in an email from his campaign, announcing the invitation. “The move would complement Arizona’s aggressive push to make manufacturing a central component of our growing economy.”

While officials from the three other states in the running for the Tesla plant have all made statements about Tesla, this is the first time officials in Arizona have spoken about the state being considered.

“We are proud to hear that Arizona is among the finalists,” the letter to Musk said. “Tesla can join companies such as Intel, Boeing, Apple, Raytheon and Honeywell that have chosen to locate a substantial manufacturing presence in our state.”

The letter goes on to say Arizona has a skilled workforce, business-friendly tax structure and quality education.

“Regardless of where you might choose to locate within Arizona, you can be assured that infrastructure will be available to meet your needs,” it reads.

Aside from Smith, the current president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the letter was co-signed by Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers, immediate past president of the National League of Cities.

Continue reading the Arizona Daily Star article by Gabriela Rico.


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