Illinois Town Pursues Data Center Project

The twon of Rochelle, Illinois has begun buying land in the hopes of attracting a Fortune 100 company's data center.

The town of Rochelle, Illinois has begun buying land for a technology park in the hopes of landing a Fortune 100 company's data center. Last month, the city bought 20 acres near Interstate 39 and has an option on 140 more acres if it can attract businesses to locate there.

Local officials say they are in talks with a Fortune 100 company about building a 100,000 square foot data center at the site, with an announcement likely in the next two months, according to City Manager Ken Alberts. The project would employ 10 to 15 people to start, with jobs paying between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. Albert said the company is also eyeing locations in Wisconsin and Indiana, and Rochelle officials have offered a five-year tax abatement to stay competitive.

The project reflects two trends we've noted here in recent months - the growing interest by enterprise companies in focusing on affordable locations in Middle America for data centers, and economic development agencies in smaller cities seizing upon that opportunity to try and attract corporate development projects.