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Google Investing $600M in Data Center Near Dallas

Google plans to invest over $600 million in a new data center in Red Oak to power the increasing digital demands of consumers and businesses using its cloud, workspace and maps services and apps.

(TNS) — Google plans to invest over $600 million in a new data center in Red Oak to power the increasing digital demands of consumers and businesses using its cloud, workspace and maps services and apps.

The company said Thursday that it will invest an initial $330 million in Texas this year, with plans for the data center’s final cost rising to at least $600 million over multiple years.

When it’s finished, it will have 30 full-time employees, but it will create nearly 1,200 new construction jobs as it is built.

Lee McCleary, director of economic development for Red Oak, said in an email to The Dallas Morning News that the data center at 156 N. Austin Blvd. will be about 285,000 square feet — roughly equivalent to five football fields — and will take about two years to complete.

“The $300-plus million capital investment being made by Google in the City of Red Oak is significant,” McCleary said. “It creates well-paying jobs and the Google data center further validates Red Oak as being the preferred destination for industries conducting business in advanced technology sectors.”

It will be Google’s second site in Texas along with a data center in Midlothian. That 375-acre project was one of the largest in the country when it was built in 2019. In 2020, the internet giant bought an additional 165 acres for a second facility.

“Google’s data centers provide the infrastructure for digital services and AI innovations for people around the world,” said Google’s Cris Turner, the company’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, knowledge and information products, in a statement. “Our continued investment in the state is a testament to the resources and talent found in Midlothian, Red Oak and beyond.”

Turner said this project shows the company’s commitment to Texas.

“We’re going to continue to grow and expand here,” Turner said. “It’s the talent, infrastructure, business-friendly environment, ecosystem and partners that are so willing to support and help us.”

More than 2.2 million square feet of data center projects were in D-FW’s development pipeline at the end of 2022, according to a new report from commercial property firm Cushman & Wakefield. D-FW is one of the nation’s top data center construction markets.

Several major data center campuses are located in southern Dallas County and Ellis County. Besides Google’s projects, Compass Datacenters LLC is building a data center on more than 200 acres it owns on Houston School Road near Interstate 35E. In North Fort Worth, social media giant Facebook built a $1.5 billion data center campus that spans 2.6 million square feet.

“Good companies go to where the workforce and regulatory climate is,” said Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Amarillo, who attended Thursday’s announcement. “Other states and communities should learn about engaging with the local community. We’re all excited about this opportunity, and it says that we have a great workforce here in Texas.”

McCleary laid out additional reasons why he thinks Red Oak is a perfect destination for Google and other companies.

“Red Oak is business friendly; available land that is reasonable in cost; sufficient public utilities and private franchise infrastructure that meets the growing demands of data centers; connectivity with multiple providers of fiber optics; an abundant supply of a skilled labor that is readily available to work; and close proximity to a wide variety of public and private colleges, universities, and vocational-technical colleges for workforce training,” he said.

Google also announced a $150,000 grant to Red Oak School District. Last year, the company partnered with the University of Texas and Texas State University systems to offer Google career certificates through skill development training courses.

Dallas College, where Thursday’s announcement was held, has 500 students enrolled in the certificate program. Google certifications are online programs to help people develop skills in industries like data analytics, digital marketing and e-commerce, IT support and other technical fields, according to the company.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the investment from Google comes at an important time in an increasingly digital world.

“We know we’re going to become more dependent on technology. It’s not going to slow down,” Cornyn said. “With technology comes threats and artificial intelligence, and we need the workforce to perform these good jobs that companies like Google bring.”

Cornyn said he expects the investment to create the next big center of technology in Texas.

“This is going to be part of the rejuvenation of this part of North Texas,” Cornyn said. “This sends a great message that we’re open for business.”

© 2023 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.