March 9, 2018
According to a 2017 CBRE report, the most active areas for data center construction in the U.S. were Chicago, Detroit, Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley and New Jersey, but Prineville, Oregon is proving to be a strong contender.
Prineville is a small town in Crook County that was once plagued with an unemployment rate of 20%, but Facebook and Apple’s massive construction could be a strong factor in the town’s turnaround, while also helping to grow the overall state’s economic appeal.
Facebook is building the first of two 450,000-square-foot data centers to be completed in 2021 for a grand total of $1 billion, which will add to the four data centers that were built in 2010 that cost $1.1 billion. Not too far away, Apple will be expanding its 660,000-square-foot complex for $988 million.
Although some people argue the companies receive massive tax breaks and provide dismal employment opportunities, the city still benefits. For example, when abatements cease in the mid 2020’s, Prineville will see a $2 billion increase in its property taxes, and municipal accounts currently charge an extra “franchise” fee on electricity within its jurisdiction.
While the shift from a small cowtown culture to a locale buzzing with data center construction may not feel natural for all residents, some small business owners are realizing that the tech giants are promoting more traffic in their local businesses.
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