Mesa Earns Golden Prospector Award from AAED for Deal of the Year

October 31, 2022 at 11:35 am

The City of Mesa's Office of Economic Development was recently awarded the Golden Prospector Award for Economic Development Deal of the Year from the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) for Mesa's attraction of Meta's 396-acre, 2.5 million-square-foot mission critical data center campus. The project is a capital investment of $1 billion and brings 2,000 constructions jobs and more than 200 high-tech operational jobs once finished.

"I am pleased to see the hard work of our economic development team being recognized by AAED," stated Mesa Mayor John Giles. "It's truly an affirmation of the great things taking place in Mesa."

The economic impacts and tax revenues that this project will generate are massive. Based on industry assumptions over the first 10 years of operations, the Meta project is conservatively expected to generate more than $27.6 million in construction sales tax and electricity sales tax for the City of Mesa.

The most innovative component of the project is the unique approach to sustainability and water stewardship. Meta and the City of Mesa entered into a Sustainable Water Services Agreement, the first of its kind in the City of Mesa. This agreement allows Meta to transfer 1.79 billion gallons in Long-Term Water Storage Credits (LTSCs) to the City of Mesa to offset the Meta facility's anticipated water use for the next 20 years. These credits allow Mesa to maintain its critical Certificate of Assured Water Supply with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, which is necessary to continue to develop and grow.

In addition, The City of Mesa and Meta partnered with Salt River Project (SRP), the electric utility provider for the project. SRP is helping Meta bring 450 megawatts of solar energy to Arizona. Moreover, Meta made a one-time $50,000 donation to the Mesa College Promise, a city-led program to grant financial support to Mesa high school graduates looking to attend community college. Meta has also partnered with the East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to host free small business and non-profit workshops and will be launching Community Action Grants in Mesa, a grant program that places the power of technology to use for community benefit, connecting people online or off, and improving STEM education programs.

The Golden Prospector Awards were established by AAED to encourage and recognize excellence, innovation, and creativity in economic development.

"We are honored to be recognized by AAED for the Golden Prospector Economic Development Deal of the Year Award," City of Mesa Economic Development Director Bill Jabjiniak said. "This award reflects the tremendous work our economic development team is engaged in to build a strong economy for the City of Mesa."

Serving as the leading statewide advocate for responsible economic development in Arizona since 1974, AAED's foundation has been rooted in education, advocacy, and collaboration to affect positive change and increase Arizona's competitive position to attract investment and create jobs.