It could be Apple. It could be Facebook. It could even be the U.S. government that’s considering Iowa for a $1.2 billion data center, say industry experts.
“It’s all very cloak-and-dagger stuff,” says Clyde Evans, West Des Moines’ economic development leader. The city, already home to a $200 million Microsoft center, has fielded interest recently from three or four site selectors looking to locate large data center projects. “We get contacted by a real estate agent, they won’t give us a card or a last name. We never know who they represent.”
Nebraska lawmakers, who are pushing through incentives they hope will match Iowa’s data center tax breaks, call the proposed mega-center “Project Edge,” according to the Omaha World Herald. Debi Durham, Iowa’s economic development leader, confirmed Thursday that Iowa was competing against Nebraska for the data center, but declined to name the company behind the project.
She told the Associated Press it wasn’t the massive high-tech companies already in Iowa, like Microsoft in West Des Moines, Google, with a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs, or IBM, with a $42 million high-tech hub in Dubuque.