Updated Images of Apple’s Sapphire Plant in Mesa

Posted: February 18, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in Mesa Sapphire Plant
Tags: , , , , ,

Matt Margolis – 2/17/14

I spoke with local Mesa resident Brad W., who was kind enough to send some pictures along as well as to discuss what he has witnessed first hand outside of Apple’s sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ over the last several weeks.  Brad paid a visit the Mesa plant just after dusk on February 15th and he was able able to get a nice view of the inside and outside of the facility.  At the time of his visit, nearly all of the overhead doors were open and the overhead lights were on he was able to catch a illuminated view of the inside and he simply said it’s “looking full”.  The outside of the building was illuminated by exterior building lights as well as generator powered lighting to continue ongoing construction outside of the facility.  Unfortunately, his camera did not take night pictures very well so I sent him back on Sunday February 16th to take some updated pictures for me.  He described the eastern exposure of the building as spanning “at least 1/2 mile to 3/4 of a mile in length”, the building measured “about 45 feet tall” and the northern exposure of the building spanned “a good 1/4 of a mile in length”.   A few weeks ago during a previous visit he had seen what he thought to be a draining system on north side being installed, but just a few weeks later that area was completely covered over with dirt.  It was reported last week by Bloomberg that crews busy were installing new transmission lines to feed electricity to the plant last month.  Bloomberg also pointed out that new solar and geothermal projects are being built because of the project.  Previous media reports suggest the Mesa Sapphire plant will begin producing sapphire as soon as this month.  The recent reports and eye witness observations suggest Apple has been cranking around the clock to get work completed inside and outside of the facility.

Below is the aerial image of the Mesa Facility with Signal Butte Road running east away from the plant and Elliot Road running south towards the plant.  This aerial picture was taken prior to Apple’s purchase of the building from First Solar.


Below are aerial shots of the Mesa Plant after First Solar completed the building versus the before pictures, these pictures were taken prior to Apple’s purchase of the building from First Solar.


Brad provided several pictures of the building, which provide a glimpse of just how massive the 1.3 million square foot plant really is. Below is the eastern exposure that spans 1/2 mile to 3/4 of a mile along with the front entrance.


Below is the northern exposure which spans 1/4 mile including an overhead door which.  The extensive above ground power lines shown in the pictures below are usually not seen in this area and they could be related to the new power substation that Mesa officials agreed to construct.  Most power lines in this area are buried underground and out of sight.




The last picture is the west side of plant.  There are two giant water tanks with a massive crane soaring in the air above them.  To the left of the water tanks is a smaller crane that could be constructing the cooling system.  Further to the left is a massive dirt file that is approximately 45 feet high and over 200 feet long.  If you scroll back up to the before and after pictures of the Mesa facility you will realize that water tanks and the apparent cooling system have all been added to the building by Apple since acquiring it from First Solar.


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  1. Bob says:

    Matt. I measured the building on Google earth which is quite accurate and it is 807 deep by 1536 long not counting the office area in front. 1.2395 Million sq ft of space not including the offices.


  2. millsy says:

    Hashultz is going by there this weekend, make sure to post his pictures


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