About 650 people attended a ceremony yesterday to mark the "launch" of Google's new data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The $600 million facility is seen as a key economic development win for Iowa, and will eventually result in 200 full-time jobs paying $50,000 a year. "Google has opened up the door to opportunities for us - and Iowa - that we didn't have in the past," Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan said Tuesday, when state and local leaders, workers and about 100 local residents gathered at the new facility. "All of a sudden, companies are looking at Iowa a little differently. Google has put us on the map."
Google is still hiring workers in Council Bluffs. but local officials noted that the company has room to expand. Google has purchased an additional 1,000 acres of land about four miles from the first phase of its data center project. The company was considering an adjacent 130-acre piece of land for the second phase, but may eventually expand at the larger parcel instead. 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.