Amazon has been granted zoning approval for a data center development in the Round Rock area of Austin, Texas.

The company has also filed for planning permission for two data center sites in Mesa, Arizona.

All three planned developments are on sites previously earmarked for large distribution projects by the company.

amazon round rock site
– Amazon via Round Rock City Council

Amazon granted zoning permission in Round Rock

In Round Rock, the City Council approved the company’s zoning request during a meeting on January 11.

First reported last month, Amazon was seeking to annex and rezone about 149 acres along County Road 172 and McNeil Road, north of State Highway 45. The site would include space for warehouse and distribution, a data center, and an electrical substation.

Items approved for the 149-acre site included the annexation of a portion of County Road 172, an agreement for the City to provide services to the newly annexed area and another providing specific zoning and land use plans for the Amazon project, including the creation of a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The PUD divides the property into two development areas: Area A, which will include a warehouse and distribution facility; and Area B, which allows for warehouse and distribution, data centers, and an electric substation.

Construction on the distribution facility is set to start towards the end of 2024. Timelines for any data center development weren’t shared.

Amazon previously put plans for a $250 million distribution center project on a 193-acre piece of the former Robinson Ranch on hold in 2022 after the company admitted it had overbuilt on logistics space. The company had acquired the land in 2021.

A number of operators have a presence around Austin, while Sabey is also building a campus in Round Rock on the site of a now-demolished Sears Teleserv building. Switch is also developing in Round Rock.

10464 E. Pecos Road Mesa Arizona AWS
– Google Maps

AWS files for data centers in Mesa

January has also seen Amazon file for permission for data centers in the Mesa area of Phoenix, Arizona.

BizJournal reports the company filed requests on Jan. 8 to the city of Mesa’s planning and zoning board asking for site plans to be approved as well as for special use permits for height and parking reduction for the two projects – going by the names PHX062 and PHX65. The projects have yet to be put on a Planning and Zoning Board agenda.

"We recently filed documents as part of the process in exploring possible data center locations,” an Amazon Web Services spokesperson told the publication. “This is part of our normal due diligence process as we are constantly evaluating new locations based on customer demand.”

News surfaced in September 2023 that Amazon had filed pre-submittal documents with Mesa’s planning office for two separate data centers about four miles apart in Mesa's Maricopa County.

Each plan calls for two 227,000 sq ft (21,090 sqm) data center buildings on land owned by Amazon. One of the proposed data center sites is on 42.9 acres off Elliot Road, next door to the Apple data center in Mesa. The other is located on 71.3 acres at 10464 E. Pecos Road, just east of the Legacy Park sports complex.

BJ reports Amazon acquired both Mesa sites in December 2021. The company paid $16.9 million for the Elliot Road property; the Pecos property cost just over $18 million.

The Pecos Road site was also once considered for a 700,000 sq ft logistics building that would have been a last-mile delivery hub for Amazon. That development was called “Project Cork” and Ryan Cos. was attached to it. The project has seemingly been dormant since around 2021. The Elliot Road site was already reportedly previously earmarked for a logistics facility according to AZTechCouncil.

Phoenix is a major data center hub, with the Mesa area home to Polish software firm Comarch as well as EdgeCore, Meta, Google, Novva, Apple, CyrusOne, and NTT. Landowner Pacific Proving is also planning to develop a large campus in the area.

Across the rest of Phoenix, the likes of Stack, Stream, Prime, Aligned, Iron Mountain, Vantage, Compass, QTS, EdgeConneX, Expedient, and H5 are all present. Microsoft operates a cloud region out of the area.

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