Apple to build $1.3 billion data center in Iowa


Google, Facebook and Microsoft have already built billion-dollar data centers in Iowa. Professor ofEconomics at Drake, Tom Rootsays it makes sense Apple wants to build its newest data center here.

The two 400,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facilities - to be built on 2,000 acres in Waukee, which is 18 miles west of Des Moines - will run entirely on renewable energy to power North American users of Apple products and services and will create more than 550 construction and operations jobs in the Des Moines area, Tim Cook said.

Cook said Apple will also invest up to $100 million in a public improvement fund focused on development and infrastructure in Waukee.

The Iowa data center will join Apple facilities in California, Nevada, Oregon and North Carolina, which also host services such as iCloud, Apple Music and the App Store.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook is expected to travel to Waukee to officially announce the project this Thursday afternoon, according to state officials.

The City of Waukee will provide $188 million in property tax abatements.

Reynolds, speaking briefly to reporters after the announcement, defended the use of the state's $19.6 million in tax credits at a time when the state budget shortfall that may require a special legislative session to address, saying it's a minimal investment for the return Iowa will get. This gives us the opportunity with a global company like Apple to say we are the place to be.

The decision was lauded by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican. "This is an investment that will continue to pay dividends way beyond today".

Reynolds cited research that shows economic benefits from data centers on Thursday.

Every year thereafter, the data center supports 157 local jobs paying $7.8 million in wages, injecting $32.5 million into the local economy and generating $1.1 million in revenue to state and local governments. "After the responsible leadership and planning from our city council and staff, we are thrilled to welcome Apple's investment in the City of Waukee. And as you look at the age demographics and the growth of Iowa, I think it's really hard to challenge the fact there are ancillary growth benefits from making an investment like this", he said.

The project will create over 500 construction and operations jobs, and fifty permanent jobs once the first phase is completed in 2020.