Wal-Mart confirmed Thursday that it will build a major corporate data center in Colorado Springs, boosting efforts by local officials to boost the city as a data center destination. Construction costs for the new data center are estimated at $100 million, and initially, the data center would need 20 to 40 full-time employees with annual salaries of $30,000 to $70,000.
The decision to build in Colorado Springs followed a lengthy courtship in which the company examined several sites and local officials assembled a package of economic incentives. Colorado Springs’ package totaled roughly $4.5 million in sales and business personal property tax rebates.
Local Officials Ecstatic
“For them to make an investment of this kind in our community says a lot about the business climate of our community and our openness to business,” Doug Quimby, Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp. board chairman, told the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The retail giant is considering building a 163,000-square-foot data center with a planned expansion to about 208,000 square feet in five years. Wal-Mart would also purchase equipment and machinery totaling $50 million to $100 million.
Colorado Springs, a city of 410,000 located about 60 miles south of Denver, is home to existing data centers for Verizon Wireless, HP, FedEx, T. Rowe Price, Progressive and Intel, among others. The climate will support free cooling for much of the year.
Wal-Mart has historically been secretive about its data centers, including a facility in Missouri that has been the focus of curiosity for the local press, which has dubbed it “Area 71.”