Intel wants to keep the good times rolling in Chandler.
The City Council is doing its part to help out.
The city last week approved the issuance of Industrial Development Revenue bonds with the computer giant that will give the company access to half a billion dollars in bond money to help with its local expansion and other projects.
“It just shows their commitment to the community that they’re willing to go after a half-a-billion-dollar bond in order to fulfill their project,” Councilmember Matt Orlando said.
In its 50 years as a company, Intel has spent nearly 40 of them in Arizona. It currently has two plants in Chandler – the Chandler Campus at 5000 W. Chandler Blvd. and the Ocotillo Campus at 4500 S. Dobson Road.
Jason Bagley, the director of state government relations for Intel, said the company has invested close to $30 billion in manufacturing capacity in Chandler since 1996. Additionally, he said Intel is responsible for a $5.5 billion economic impact to the region.
“We’ve been very committed here,” Bagley said.
The bond money will allow the company to expand its production at those sites, make environmental improvements, update its recycling program and expand its parking situation, among other fixes.
The bond is through the Industrial Development Authority, a nonprofit corporation that’s separate from the city. Dawn Lang, the city’s management services director, said it’s designed to promote economic development and allows certain types of businesses to access tax exempt financing.
“It gives potential projects that could increase the city’s tax base another financing option to weigh as they look to build and expand in the city of Chandler,” Lang said. “Chandler is the conduit for the bonds. But there is no responsibility for repayment for the city.”
Last year, the council approved Intel’s expansion plans, which will soon bring 3,000 more jobs to the employment behemoth.
Intel’s Chandler plants are currently producing about 10 billion transistors per second and shipping products companywide about every 25 seconds.
“It’s just phenomenal what takes place there,” Bagley said. “Our factories are producing as fast as we can possibly go.”
The bond money council approved will help Intel make some environmentally friendly modifications. Bagley said the company’s goal is to return back to the community 100 percent of the water that it uses by 2025. It’s currently at 80 percent and working on ways to bridge the gap for the last 20 percent.
“In Arizona, we have seven projects currently underway in the watershed,” Bagley said. “Those projects will deliver just under 500 million gallons of water savings for the year. The company right now is halfway to our goal of returning 100 percent of water to the community.”
Bagley said the bond money will also allow Intel the chance to “utilize capital in a very competitive and more efficient way.”
Parking will also be eased with the bond money.
“If you go out to the Ocotillo site, you’ll have hard time finding parking,” Bagley said. “It’s full with 11,000 employees between the two sites and thousands more who come onto site each day.”
When the new employees come with the upcoming expansion, matters will only get worse.
“This bond is helping address a significant chunk of that,” Bagley said.