Google has officially confirmed it is behind a proposed data center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The company this week announced it was building a third data center in Papillion, and was building a data center in Lincoln. The works will see the search and cloud firm invest $1.2 billion.
“We’re here. We’re here to stay, and we’re here to expand,” Allie Hopkins, Google’s head of data centers said. “It’s a message that Google is sending out to the nation that Nebraska is business-friendly.”
Though long-suspected to be Google, the company has been proposing a data center at a site in Lincoln using the Agate LLC company since 2019.
Agate LLC first filed for a $600 million data center campus in Lancaster County in July 2019. Earlier this year local news reported that site groundworks had finally begun, with Agate filing a request with the US Army Corps of Engineers to develop the data center.
Though the company didn’t provide project details or timelines, planning permission documents suggest Google is planning to develop two million sq ft (185,800 sqm) of data center space on more than 570 acres of farmland in Lancaster County bounded by N. 40th Street, Highway 77, Interstate 80 and Bluff Road. A substation is located close by across Highway 77.
The Agate shell company gained approval for its request in September 2021, having acquired the land at 8905 and 9385 N 56th Street from the Brager and White Family LLCs for around $18.6 million in total.
Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said: “Google’s decision to locate here reflects the strong business climate we have built in Lincoln through community partnerships and investments in infrastructure and workforce development.”
“The arrival of Google’s data center is a true testament to the collective efforts of the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development and the city of Lincoln to cultivate innovation and create new employment opportunities within our community,” added Luke Peltz, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development’s vice president.
Local developers and landowners John Brager, Tom Schleich, and Tom White had previously proposed developing a large commercial center at the site, but the project never got off the ground, according to the Star-Journal.
Google has three data center projects in the Omaha area, some 60 miles from Lincoln; one in Papillion, where the company broke ground in 2019; and one across the border in Iowa's nearby Council Bluffs which the search giant established in 2007.
Last year the company announced plans to build another data center in Omaha, near State Street and Blair High Road to the northwest of the city. That facility is expected to open soon. The company recently announced plans to spend $350 million expanding in Council Bluffs.
Meta also has a campus in Papillion.
Congressman Mike Flood (NE-01) joked Google is "handing out these data centers like candy."
"I would like one in Fremont, Columbus, and Norfolk," he said.
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