Apple Said to Be Mulling Iowa Data Center

Iowa is a popular location for data center operators, with Google, Facebook and Microsoft (although its latest project may be cut short due to an impending water bill), having built their own facilities in the state.

The California-based company is due to meet with Iowa's Economic Development Authority today, the schedule for which was published and reported on yesterday by The Des Moines Register.

The 400,000-square-foot data center will "strengthen the relationships" in Iowa, where 30 Apple suppliers, including 3M and Qorvo, already operate, Cook said.

The IEDA board awarded Apple $19,650 in tax breaks for the project, which will cover 2,000 acres in Waukee. Subsequently, the IEDA Board approved tax incentives via the High Quality Jobs program for the more than $1.3 billion project that will create at least 50 jobs at a qualifying wage of at least $29.12 per hour.

Cook promised to invest $100 million to a newly created public improvement fund to be used for community development, including the revitalization of streets, libraries and parks.

In addition to the state incentives, Waukee will consider a 20-year tax abatement worth $188 million. Like Apple's other United States data centers, the Iowa one will produce 100 percent renewable energy, he said. "This investment in our state is vital as we continue to develop as a technology hub and grow our workforce". This gives us the opportunity with a global company like Apple to say we are the place to be.

"In Iowa, we admire what you guys have accomplished and we want to be a part of it", Cook said.

The CEO said data centers form the backbone of the innovation infrastructure.

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.

Tina Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, told The Washington Post that building the project will bring more wealth to the community. "This is an investment in Iowa's future".

In July, Foxconn announced a $10 billion investment in Wisconsin, which is initially projected to create about 3,000 jobs in the region.

  • Eleanor Harrison