TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – City and state political leaders and businesspeople made their way to Fort Worth Tuesday for the official announcement that social media giant Facebook is opening a new data center in Fort Worth.
The data center will be built in the Alliance Corridor, in north Fort Worth. Construction on the first phase is expected to be complete in late 2016.
Facebook’s vice-president for infrastructure, Tom Furlong, envisions potentially as many as three buildings. “Assuming the business continues on its trajectory we’ll be building more than one building,” he told CBS 11 News adding, “And as the business continues to generate the need we’ll plan to keep building.”
One of the individuals spearheading the project, Ross Perot Junior, moderated the announcement ceremony and opened by saying, “We’re here because Facebook is one of the great 21st century companies. It’s only 11 years old [and] it has 1.5 billion users already.”
Officials say the $750 million project was made possible, in part, by an offer approved by the Fort Worth City Council and Tarrant County in May of 2015. Perot said, “So with this great spirit in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the State of Texas and our leadership we were able to bring the incentive package to bear.”
In all, the data center is projected to generate up to 40 jobs for full-time employees, contractors and vendors.
It will have its own wind-generating farm constructed in Clay County, near Wichita Falls.
Governor Greg Abbott came to North Texas for the announcement and said, “This event today is the latest example of how the Texas model works in attracting jobs and innovative projects. Texas is far more than just a leader in job creation. Texas has been the leading exporting state in the United States of America for 13 years running.”
The new data center will also be powered by 100-percent renewable energy. It will have its own wind-generating farm constructed in Clay County, near Wichita Falls. According to Abbott Texas leads the nation in wind energy and that fact, “…was one of the pivotal reasons that Facebook chose this location for this project.”
Perot said the project couldn’t he come together if it weren’t for the work and cooperation of Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. She told the crowd, “The economic impact that Facebook brings with them is amazing.”
Saying that the new data center would surpass a billion dollar investment, Price spoke about the City of Fort Worth and the people working there. “We do it bigger and better. We’re the 16th largest city in the nation, but we take pride in knowing that our city and our community… have the best small-town attitude anywhere.”
The new data center will be located at the corner of Park Vista Blvd. and State Highway 170 and ultimately consists of three 250,000-square-foot buildings on a 110-acre site.
Facebook officials say the Fort Worth facility will be “one of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centers in the world.”
The Mayor detailed how she is excited about the opportunity and jobs to come as Fort Worth forges its future in technology. Laughing, Price closed saying, “We’re delighted that Facebook ‘likes’ Tarrant County and Fort Worth.”
In nearby Roanoke, businesses like rubbing shoulders with the success Facebook represents. Ashley Majors manages both the Roanoke Trading Company and the Hey Sugar Candy store. “I was so excited, I’m excited for any growth that’s close to us.”
She says Facebook is part of her personal and business routine. “With two businesses on this block I think it will bring in tons of more customers. Especially for the candy store, because everybody wants something good to eat.
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