Company behind $845M data center in Indiana identified as Google

Keywords Real Estate / Technology
  • Comments
  • Print

The Fortune 100 company behind a planned $845 million data center project in southeast Fort Wayne has been unveiled. Google on Friday announced it has purchased the nearly 900 acres of land being used for the development, which until now has been known as “Project Zodiac.”

The city first announced the project in October, but said at the time that it couldn’t name the company “due to the competitive nature of their industry.”

Google spokesperson Devon Smiley confirmed the company is behind the project to Inside INdiana Business, but declined to provide any more information.

“When Google joins a new community, we are committed to being active members and partnering closely with local leaders to meaningfully contribute to the priorities of that community,” Smiley said in an email to IIB. “Fort Wayne is no different; in partnership with the City of Fort Wayne, the sale of the land will support community wide initiatives.”

The project is expected to create about 30 jobs at the campus, which could have up to 12 buildings.

“I want to extend a warm Hoosier welcome to Google and its new data center,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a written statement to IIB. “This is yet another example of the Indiana momentum that’s reaching all corners of our state. Northeast Indiana has the tools, resources and workforce to support this exciting partnership with Google, especially in an industry so important to our digitally driven future.”

Tom Trent, an attorney representing the company told the Fort Wayne Common Council last month that the $845 million investment would support the construction of the first building on the campus. With additional buildings planned, that investment could grow to up to $4 billion, he said.

The council unanimously approved a 10-year, 50% real property tax abatement on each building that would be constructed on the campus. City and county officials previously approved the annexation of nearly 730 acres of land into the city for the proposed project.

In a statement released Friday, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry called the announcement a major win for the community and said the city is grateful for Google’s commitment.

“This development is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that will bring excellent jobs, new economic development possibilities, and further strengthen our community’s place as an ideal location for businesses to invest,” Henry said. “A lot of work has gone into getting the necessary approvals to move the data center project across the finish line. This new initiative will continue the unprecedented positive momentum being experienced in Fort Wayne and position our community for current and future success.”

Over the last few months, many residents have expressed concerns about the project to city officials, particularly over increased traffic, environmental impact, and noise pollution.

During the Dec. 22 meeting of the city council when the incentives were approved for the project, Councilor Sharon Tucker, who represents the district in which the data center will be built, said she visited a similar facility outside of Fort Wayne and was confident that noise would not be an issue with the new campus.

“Based on what I saw with my own eyes, this is not the monster that many people are fearful that this project is,” Tucker said. “The sound decibels that were there were not the sounds that people are fearful that it is. I know that may not be sexy, or may not be what people want to hear, but I went to seek the truth, and that is the truth that I’m coming back to share with this council body.”

Officials said the new jobs would pay an average salary of $65,000, for a total of nearly $2 million in new payroll. A timeline for construction of the first data center building has not been released.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

13 thoughts on “Company behind $845M data center in Indiana identified as Google

    1. Pretty sure the 30 was just for the first building, since that’s all they’re building now.

  1. The jobs number seems accurate. Data Centers are not job creators.They are huge warehouses filled with servers – and those have become increasingly automated to run and upkeep. I guess good for Fort Wayne to collect some new property tax revenue, but these things don’t bring with them lots of employment.

  2. With $845mm investment comes construction jobs, infrastructure improvements to over 900 acres, attraction to other businesses, recurring revenues such as utilities, landscaping, maintenance, etc…. Better use of ground than sitting empty for the next 25 years as new commercial construction from higher interest rates and economic uncertainty has grinded to a halt, especially in under developed areas like SE FT Wayne.

  3. Good for Mayor Henry and Ft. Wayne. Unfortunately not many jobs but that is typical of a data center. Good property taxes after the partial abatement ends and little to no wear on city infrastructure.

  4. Regardless this is great news for Ft Wayne and Indiana as a whole. Ft Wayne is actually doing some impressive things up there and it’s the second largest city in Indiana. This could have a trickle down affect statewide. The LEAP district in Lebanon and all the tech districts around Indy and Hamilton county just makes the entire state that much more attractive to BIG tech investments in the future.

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In