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Google Plans $1.7B Investment in Ohio Data Centers

The company has announced plans to spend $1.7 billion to expand its three Ohio data center sites to boost artificial intelligence efforts and tools like Google search, Maps, and Gmail.

The Google logo on the side of a glass building.
(TNS) — Google announced plans Monday to spend $1.7 billion to expand its three Ohio data center sites to boost the tech giant’s artificial intelligence efforts and tools like Google search, Maps, and Gmail.

The sites, which include a completed center in the Columbus suburb of New Albany and data centers being built in south Columbus and Lancaster, are the latest in a recent series of data-center investments in Central Ohio, which now total about $4 billion.

The additional money will be used to complete the Columbus and Lancaster data centers, as well as expand the New Albany facility, said Mark Isakowitz, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy.

Data centers, in general, tend to create a significant number of jobs while they’re being constructed but a comparatively small number of long-term jobs after they open. Isakowitz said about 1,200 jobs will be created at each facility while construction’s going on, but he didn’t say how many people Google will employ at the three facilities once all of them are built.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who participated in Google’s announcement, told reporters that while data centers are often knocked for not creating a lot of permanent jobs, the jobs that will be created by Google will be high-quality jobs. Husted added that the data centers will also provide work for outside companies, such as heating and cooling technicians, electricians, and waste-hauling services.

No tax credits or other public incentives were offered to Google for the data-center expansion, Husted said.

When completed, Central Ohio will be one of only two regions in the nation that will have three Google data centers, besides a cluster of data centers in Council Bluffs, Iowa and nearby Nebraska, Isakowitz said.

While the facilities are only in the Columbus area, Isakowitz said “all Ohio” will benefit from the data centers.

“All Ohioans benefit when Maps are better, when people get a better route... (or) if someone types in pizza places near me and they get an immediate result,” he said. “And so much the better if some of that infrastructure of the Internet is happening right here in the state.”

Husted said Google’s investment is further evidence that Ohio is the “tech hub of the Midwest.”

Even before Google’s announcement, Central Ohio has become a major hub of data centers in the past 15 years. As of the end of 2021, data centers in the Columbus area covered 4.6 million square feet – the ninth-most of any market in the nation, according to an analysis by

The Columbus area added 2.7 million square feet of data-center space between 2012 and 2021, the study found, the third-highest jump in the country. The analysis cited Central Ohio’s “reliable power, relatively affordable land, and lower incidence of natural disasters” for the increase.

The Columbus area now has 40 data centers operated by 25 companies, according to a Baxtel study cited in the Columbus Dispatch. By comparison, the Cleveland and Cincinnati metro areas have 20 and 16 data centers, respectively, according to Baxtel.

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.