The start of construction for the $1 billion Faraday Future electric auto factory was a groundbreaking in more than name only. When the factory staff clocks in for their first day of work, they will be taking one more step towards a future of lower emissions, high-tech vehicles and ambitious, forward thinking project ideals that would have been deemed science fiction only a few years ago.
North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee’s Ambitious Plan to Find Tenants for APEX
At the center of this momentous occasion is North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee. Like Faraday Future owner Jia Yueting, John Lee’s successful project to bring commerce to North Las Vegas started out as a bold dream just a few years ago. However, Faraday Future found its perfect site in a city that it at one point never knew existed. Similarly, Mayor John Lee found his perfect industrial upstart company ready to take advantage of what the sprawling APEX industrial complex could offer.
“When we were scouring the world looking for a business to come to North Las Vegas, [my friend Simon Pang] told me about Faraday,” wrote Mayor John Lee in a glowing guest column for the Las Vegas Sun. “Nobody in Nevada had heard of Faraday until Simon introduced me to them, and our city and state are forever indebted to him.”
Now, the electric motor giant has high hopes for its future 3.4 million square foot manufacturing facility. At its head is aforementioned Chinese business mogul Jia Yueting, who likens himself to a “Chinese Elon Musk” because of his enthusiasm, vision, dedication to disruptive ideas and, of course, his deep pockets. Yueting currently owns and chairs LeEco (formerly LeTV), a Chinese media streaming company often likened to Netflix. At a net worth of $7.9 billion, Yueting would qualify as China’s 41st richest man and the 557th richest worldwide.
An Economic Boon for North Las Vegas…and the Entire World
Thanks to Yueting’s vision and the help of other Faraday employees like Senior Vice President of Research Nick Sampson, the Faraday EV factory will be able to employ an estimated 4,500 people. Even more importantly, North Las Vegas’ APEX industrial park could also lure in other tenants once the infrastructure to support Faraday is in place. In total, the projected economic impact of the APEX hovers in the billions. “We are now looking at over a quarter of a trillion dollars over 20 years for the impact of the whole build out,” Dr. Robert Lang, a Brookings West economist, told Las Vegas Now.
Combined with Faraday, the sum total of available jobs both directly related to APEX and indirectly supporting it with services like housing, gas and groceries would become a staggering 116,000. Mayor John Lee hopes that Faraday will set the tempo for other tech-focused industries to come, writing that “North Las Vegas is transforming into a global leader in emerging high-tech companies rewriting the traditional forms of transportation and forever changing the landscape of our region.”
However, the real impact of the plant’s opening will resonate beyond the borders of North Las Vegas. Yueting hopes that sales of electric vehicles will help restore the once-beautiful skies above China from their current polluted state. Others around the globe anticipate sliding into the driver’s seat of one of the most advanced electric vehicles ever conceived. As Mayor Lee succinctly put it: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what is built in North Las Vegas is going to go out to the world.”