Rensselaer County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has approved tax breaks of $22 million for MetLife's planned New York data center upgrade, reports Times Union.

Insurance company MetLife, which owns a data center in the Rensselaer Technology Park in North Greenbush, New York, plans to invest $288m in upgrading its facility.

metlife rensselaer tech park
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A spokesperson for MetLife has said that the investment is for "critical facility upgrades," but the company would not have abandoned the site if it had not been granted.

According to the Notice of Public Hearing, the improvements included in the $288m investment plan are for the repair or replacement of the roof, sidewalks, and parking lots, as well as the maintenance, repair, or replacement of mechanical, electrical, heating, and air conditioning equipment, and computer equipment including mainframe, server, and peripheral computer systems.

The data center, a 200,000 sq ft (18,580 sqm) facility has been operated by MetLife since 1992, when the company purchased the site for $50 million.

The project is not anticipated to create any new jobs for the region, despite the tax break. The site currently employs 28 full-time workers and two part-time, a significant reduction compared to previous tax-break applications which suggested 200 people worked in the location.

At a November 6 public hearing prior to granting, three public members voiced disappointment that job creation was not being tied to the break. According to the IDA's website, the agency's mission is to "assist in the enhancement and diversity of the economy of the City of Rensselaer (the City) by acting in support of projects in the City that create jobs, retain jobs, and/or that promote private sector investment."

The Rensselaer Technology Park is operated by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Park's website lists three data centers onsite: MetLife's facility, the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, and a Verizon Wireless facility.

Earlier this year, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute broke ground on its own IBM Quantum System One, housed at the institute's Vorhees Computing Center.