Facebook’s Latest Iowa Data Center Expansion Approved by Local City Council

ALTOONA, IA — The city of Altoona, Iowa has approved the expansion of Facebook’s local 2.5 million-square-foot data center. Facebook is now set to invest $400 Million USD on an almost million square foot building that will bolster the four existing structures. 70 new full-time jobs are expected to be created, bringing the roster of Facebook employees in the Des Moines suburb to 400.

Altoona and Facebook have entered into a 20-year deal, in which the social network will make a payment for every new square foot of construction instead of paying property taxes — this will translate to roughly 60% of what Facebook would pay in property taxes. Facebook has also agreed to cover the cost of  a $500,000 USD pump station that will boost water pressure for the hyperscale data center, but also benefit other structures in the local area. The city of Altoona expects that Facebook will likely pay about $3 Million USD each year for the duration of the agreement.

“This is more than just a single expansion,” Altoona’s Mayor Pro Tem Jeremy Boka. “This is in consideration for future growth for the next 20 years.” Facebook has not responded to most requests for comment, only releasing a brief statement expressing their appreciation for the city of Altoona’s support, as well as that they look forward to the continued process.

Many locals expressed frustration with the decision at the Altoona City Council meeting last night. Local news outlet KCCI reported two such opinion below:

  • Altoona resident Mike Harmeyer said, “I think it’s a raw deal for the citizens in this town…you can spin it all you want, but this town needs the tax revenue, and this is a bad deal.”
  • “I have lived in Altoona since 2001,” added fellow resident of Altoona Joe Freed. “I’ve paid property taxes since 2001 and I have paid my fair share every single year, and nobody has given me a break on what I am doing.”