What is "Project Bacon?" That's the code name adopted by economic development Officials in Palm Beach County, Florida for a mystery company seeking a 50-acre site to build an office complex and data center. A project profile circulating among property owners describes a plan to build 740,000 square feet of office space between 2010 and 2015 to house 2,740 employees, along with a 50,000 square foot data center that will employ 150 workers.
- 2010: A 115,000-square-foot office building with 440 workers.
- 2011: A 50,000-square-foot data center with 150 workers.
- 2012: A 115,000-square-foot office building with 500 employees.
- 2012: A 60,000-square-foot “visitors center” with cafe, gym, health center and auditorium.
- 2013: A 225,000-square-foot office building for 900 workers.
- 2015: Another 225,000-square-foot office building for 900 workers.
Google, of course, is known for its use of code names when dealing with local officials. But they're far from the only company to follow this practice, and the ratio of office-to-data center space doesn't scream "Internet company." The visitor's center may narrow the range of possibiltiies.
Who's the mystery company? We'll keep tracking this one. But it's interesting to see another large economic development project on the heels of recent site searches by Yahoo and Apple. This could be a sign that these companies are gaining confidence about an economic recovery, and want to strike deals while real estate is cheap and local officials are hungry for projects.