Magic Leap, the mysterious Florida-based mixed reality start-up, announced on Wednesday that it would be opening a 260,000 square-foot expansion in Florida, and bringing along with it 725 new jobs over a five-year period. To make this happen, they will be making an $150 million capital investment, with government incentives, of course.
Magic Leap's new facility is located in Plantation, Florida, and used to be Motorola factory, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The deal has been in the works for awhile: Magic Leap took press on a tour of the then-industrial building back in October of 2015. It took working deals with state and local governments to make it all come together, including over $8 million in various incentive programs.
The space will be converted into offices and an R&D headquarters, including a 50,000 foot "clean room" for high-tech manufacturing. Judging from Google Maps's June 2016 images, they've been doing a lot of construction at the site.
In recent weeks Magic Leap has been run through the ringer in the press. For years the company has been built up as the mixed reality golden child with what looks like some amazing, but ultra-secretive, technology.
In a sudden turn of events, Magic Leap was torn back down again on the heel of a report in The Information claiming that the tech presented to investors had been shelved. While their product may be different than anticipated, Magic Leap still says they're "racing toward launch" and have never wavered on their timeline for production. It appears that Magic Leap took their lumps and kept moving right along, saying that 2017 is going to be an "exciting" year for the company.
With this announcement, Magic Leap seems to hope to get back in the public's good graces, or at least the state of Florida's. According to the Miami Herald, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz said:
Our new location in Plantation will create many new jobs in the area, and we hope to continue to grow and expand our efforts over the coming years. We see Florida as an emerging hub for both technology and creativity, and we at Magic Leap are inspired by events such as the first launch to the moon, which happened right here in Florida just a few decades ago. Florida is a place where people can dream, and where amazing things can happen.
While there are still no timeline announcements for the release of the Magic Leap device, this huge facility furthers the idea that Magic Leap is gearing up for the mass drive into the market.
Would you move to Florida to work for Magic Leap? Do you think we will see their product in 2017, finally? Let us know in the comments.