Google Buys More Land in Council Bluffs

Google has purchased an additional 1,000 acres of land near Council Bluffs, Iowa, where it is building a $600 million data center project, according to local officials. The land is about four miles from the site where Google (GOOG) is building the first phase of its data center project. The company was considering an adjacent 130-acre piece of land for the second phase, but now may build at the larger parcel instead, according to local media reports.

The purchase doesn’t necessarily mean that Google is expanding the scope of its project, but gives it the space to build additional data centers if needed. Google typically plans for two data center buildings as part of each new location, with an option to build a third if needed. Mark Norman of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce said the 1,000 acre parcel – equivalent to about 1.5 square miles – is currently being graded but that no decision had yet been made about the location of Google’s second phase.

Google spokeswoman Sunny Gettinger told the Omaha World-Herald that it will take more than a year to prepare the land at the new site. She said the work is being done to shorten the timeline for possible future development. “We’re very happy with the potential for growth in Council Bluffs should our business and capacity needs require it,” Gettinger said. “Progress on the initial project is going very well.”

The first half of the project is being built on 55 acres between South 11th Street and Indian Creek, and Google was considering building the second part of the project on 130 acres of land west of the creek.

Ken Patchett, a Google operations manager, said the larger parcel may offer advantages because it would allow a facility to be set back further than at the other available parcel. “From a security standpoint, it’s nice to have a lot of space,” said Patchett.

Google previously announced data centers in Lenoir, North Carolina, Berkeley County in South Carolina and Pryor, Oklahoma in 2007.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.