Apple makes data center investment in Iowa

Apple's data center will be built in Wacau Iowa which is outside of Des Moines. Credit Apple

Apple's data center will be built in Wacau Iowa which is outside of Des Moines. Credit Apple

The company is reportedly planning to follow Google, Facebook, and Microsoft in building a data center in Iowa.

State economic development officials this morning awarded almost 20 million dollars in tax incentives to Apple, which plans to place two data centers in the Des Moines suburb of Waukee. Construction on the data center is expected to start early next year and Apple plans to bring it online in 2020.

Apple plans to purchase 2,000 acres of land in Waukee. Along with splurging on the data center, the company will also create a $100 million public fund to improve infrastructure in the area.

It will get $208 million in state and local tax benefits, according to The Associated Press.

The city of Waukee approved multi-year property tax abatements and infrastructure improvements totaling $194 million.

At an event with Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds outside the Capitol building, Apple CEO Tim Cook credited Iowa's "world-class power grid" and what he called the state's culture of developing computer programmers who have created applications ranging from education to entertainment.

The data center will support iMessage, Siri, the App Store and various services.

"The City of Waukee is excited to be selected for this project", Mayor Peard said.

"If we want to grow this economy and provide more revenue, then we should be doing what we can to bring jobs and businesses to the state of Iowa", she said.

"It is a minimal investment for the amount of investment that's being done in the state of Iowa", Reynolds added. "We look forward to a continued partnership with Apple on this effort for decades to come".

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. There will be other jobs created during construction, but no numbers have been given yet.

Iowa is well-positioned to continue attracting data center investments in the future because of its geographic location safe from hurricanes, earthquakes and rolling blackouts, coupled with affordable electric rates and a high percentage of electricity generated by the wind.

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