Nebraska’s loss is Iowa’s gain. The social networking website Facebook is announcing plans to locate a major computer “server farm” in central Iowa, not in central Nebraska.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board this morning approved incentives for Facebook to build the $300 million data center in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona.
The city of Kearney, Nebraska, had also been in the running.
Iowa EDA board member Pete Brownell revealed some of the details of the project, which was listed as Siculus, Incorporated, on the board’s agenda.
“Siculus is a 100-percent owner/operated subsidiary of Facebook,” Brownell said. “So, Facebook is making a move into Iowa…very exciting.”
Iowa EDA spokeswoman Tina Hoffman says it’s easily one of the biggest economic development projects the board has ever dealt with.
“Obviously, 300-million is nothing to sneeze at,” Hoffman says. “With the possibility of that growing, we’re excited about that. In addition to that, just the name of Facebook is huge.”
The 476,000 square foot data center is just considered the first phase of the project. Hoffman says Facebook could ultimately build two more data centers on the 194-acre site.
The IEDA Board approved $18 million in tax incentives toward the project. The City of Altoona has approved a 100 percent property tax abatement that will extend 20 years.
Facebook officials anticipate the first data center will employ at least 31 people.