In a press release, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds joined Altoona’s Mayor Skip Conkling in officially welcoming Facebook to Iowa. The social networking company, which helps more than 1 billion people around the world connect and share with each other, announced that it will build a new, state-of-the-art data center in Altoona.
“Today’s announcement further solidifies Iowa’s position as a destination for tech companies — from major data center operations like Facebook’s to the innovative start-ups we continue to see popping up around our state,” said Gov. Branstad. “Our productive workforce and our overall cost of doing business help us to win great projects like this.”
Lt. Gov. Reynolds added, “We are so proud to add Facebook to our list of world-renowned tech companies located in Iowa. Facebook’s investment continues sending the signal that Iowa is open for business and this administration is committed to attracting business and jobs here in all economic sectors.”
Facebook will invest a minimum of $299.5 million in the project, which is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and dozens of full-time operations jobs. The company evaluated several other sites before choosing the Iowa location.
The first phase of the project will result in a 476,000-sq-ft data center that will be among the most advanced and energy efficient of its kind. The data center will feature an innovative outdoor-air cooling system and the latest in Open Compute Project server designs, and it will be built to LEED® Gold standards.
“I welcome Facebook to the Altoona community,” said Altoona Mayor Skip Conkling. “Quality companies and development make our city and state an even greater place to do business and to live and play. I want to thank all parties for their endeavors in securing this project.”
Earlier today the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board approved $18 million in tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program to Facebook to create at least 31 new jobs at a qualifying wage of $23.12 per hour. The project will have a minimum capital investment of $299.5 million. Local incentives from the city of Altoona were also approved today.
“We’re thrilled to become a part of the Altoona community, and especially appreciative of all the partners who helped make this project happen,” said Jay Parikh, vice president of infrastructure engineering for Facebook. “Facebook’s mission is to connect the world. Thanks to Iowa, we’re building the global infrastructure to bring the next billion people online.”
The 194-acre site selected in Altoona could accommodate up to two additional data center buildings that may be constructed in future phases of the project.