Lucid Motors planned $700 million electric car manufacturing plant took a huge step forward Thursday with site plan and conditional use permit approvals from the Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission. The approval sets the stage for Lucid Motors to start construction on the first phase of the project by the end of the year.

Lucid, which has financial backing from Saudi Arabia and aims to compete with Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, is building the plant on 496 acres owned by Pinal County. The first phase of the project entails two buildings totaling 820,000 square feet along with support structures. The project could create more than 3,200 permanent and construction jobs in Casa Grande.

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