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Facebook plans $300M data center, Google expands in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa economic development officials on Tuesday approved tax credits for Facebook to build a nearly $300 million data center in Altoona and increased incentives for Google that allows it to expand in Council Bluffs.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board approved $18 million in tax credits for the Facebook project to be built near Interstate 80 in Altoona, a Des Moines suburb. The project is expected to create 31 permanent jobs and hundreds of construction jobs.

“We’re thrilled to become a part of the Altoona community, and especially appreciative of all the partners who helped make this project happen,” Jay Parikh, vice president of infrastructure engineering for Facebook, said in a written statement. “Facebook’s mission is to connect the world. Thanks to Iowa, we’re building the global infrastructure to bring the next billion people online.”

In Council Bluffs, Google plans to build another data center alongside an existing $600 million center. It’s increased the cost of the new data center to $700 million from the original $300 million, and the state increased tax credits from less than $10 million to $16.8 million.

The Facebook project is the first part of an expected three-phase center. The total value of the Facebook investment could exceed $1 billion when completed.

Altoona will provide a 20-year property tax exemption

The jobs must pay at least $23.12 per hour.

Iowa has successfully attracted major Internet players Microsoft, Google and now Facebook with its inexpensive and reliable electricity, ready access to high-speed Internet connections through its network of fiber optic cables, and secure buildings that are not prone to damage from natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes.

Data centers are typically extremely large buildings that house computer servers designed to store massive amounts of data.

Data centers typically create few jobs. The Google facility employs 35.

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