Seagate, a leading maker of computer disk drives, will open a new research and development center at the former Solyndra plant visible from Interstate 880, adding another feather to Fremont's cap as a destination for innovation.
Solyndra was a high-flying solar company that got a $535 federal million loan guarantee in 2009, was visited by President Obama in 2010, only to go bankrupt in 2011, firing about 1,100 workers.
Last year Seagate bought the 412,000 square-foot-facility, offering the bankruptcy court $90.3 million for a factory that cost $300 million to build.
Seagate, which currently employs about 450 people at other R&D sites in Fremont, told the San Jose Mercury Monday that the company planned to spend another $90 million to $100 million to turn the former Solyndra site into an R&D complex that could employ about 600 people.
"This is going to be a state of the art facility," said Seagate senior vice president Mark Re.
Seagate spokesman Brian Ziel said it could be 12 to 18 months before researchers move into the facility.
The Seagate coup comes just days after Fremont officials got together at Tesla Motors -- another industrial phoenix -- to discuss how to make the city more of a destination for innovation companies.