Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. is making plans to build a $96 million data center in New Albany, Ohio, according to local media reports. The insurance company is planning a data center facility of at least 120,000 square feet on 45 acres recently designated as New Albany's Research and Information District. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2010 and wrap up by December 2011, according to city officials.
Perhaps the most interesting facet of the announcement has been the tangible benefits for the local community. Economic development agencies in many areas have been seeking to attract data center projects, which typically involve massive investment but few full-time jobs, which traditionally have been the key benchmark for new projects.
The Nationwide facility would create just 40 jobs, but generate more than $470,000 in annual property and income taxes for the community, about $300,000 of which will go to the New Albany-Plain Local School District.
"That certainly will be a source of revenue for us with the potential of not going back to the voters so frequently for operating money," New Albany school board President Diana Goedeking told local media. "We understand that it will not create revenue for us immediately, but it will create a long-term funding and help maintain stability for the district."
That was possible because the township negotiated a deal with Nationwide that provided tax advantages to both parties. Nationwide initially sought a 100 percent tax abatement, but eventually settled on a 65 percent abatement, with the remaining 35 percent generating the revenue for the local community.
"The overall goal in the business park and community is that we push the tax burden for village services, including schools, as much onto the business parks' shoulders as we can," Chrysler said. "A project like this will lift some tax burden from residents and shift it to the business park."
The research diostrict will also be home to PharmaForce Inc., a pharmaceutical company that conducts its own research and production, which will break ground on a 70,000-square-foot facility in November.able