By David Gross
The rural counties to the northwest of Charlotte, NC have become a hub for large data centers. First, Google came to Caldwell County with its $600 million Lenoir, NC facility, Then Catawba got Apple, which included having the company to pay $1.7 million for a house that sat on the land they needed for its $1 billion facility. American Express added to the region's data center investments, with a $400 million project just over an hour away in Guilford County, near Greensboro. Now it looks like the data center building boom in North Carolina will continue with construction expected to start month on a new facility in Cleveland County that could be expanded to nearly 500,000 square feet.
This new project is being developed by T5 Partners, a data center/call center development firm that spun out of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach's real estate company. Its first phase included conversion of an existing warehouse facility that is expected to be occupied soon.
Unlike other single-tenant data center hubs like the Buffalo, NY region and Oregon, the North Carolina counties are starting to compete with each other for these projects, as the witness neighboring jurisdictions increase their property tax bases significantly in these mostly rural, struggling areas. In addition to generous tax incentives, this region sits close enough to the cities on I-85, including Charlotte, Greensboro, and Spartanburg, SC, that provide ample power and bandwidth supplies that would not be available in even more rural areas.
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