It looks like Apple has finalized the site for its $1 billion iDataCenter in North Carolina. Apple and state officials aren't commenting about the location, but representatives of the Catawba County town of Maiden have already scheduled a press conference for next Monday to announce the deal.
On June 3 Apple confirmed that it will invest more than $1 billion over nine years in a data center campus somewhere in North Carolina, but did not announce the site. The facility will provide Apple with a major East Coast infrastructure hub to support its iTune music store and iPhone app store.
The project will bring at least 50 high-paying jobs to Catawba County, where the unemployment rate was 15.5 percent in May, up from 15 percent in April.
Reports about Apple's site location process have focused on properties just off Route 321 in Maiden, where the Catawba County Economic Development Corp. has been marketing several properties for data center use. Apple has said it is in the process of acquiring a site. But there are strong indications that the choice has been made, and the facility will indeed be built in Maiden.
On Monday, July 6 members of the Maiden Town Council will join representatives of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners and the county's Economic Development Corp. to make an announcement at the Maiden Recreation Center. Maiden mayor Marcus Midgett told local media that the announcement will "probably involve a new industry coming to Maiden."
So where in Maiden will the iDataCenter be located? Local officials have been touting several sites with excellent power and fiber infrastructure for data center use.
Catawba County officials have been working with T5 Mission Critical Facilities, a company formed recently by former members of the data center practice at the Staubach Company. T5 is developing a site near Route 321 in with an existing 150,000 powered shell with up to 120 megawatts of power available for a single large user. The company says the power from Duke Energy is priced at 3.8 to 4.4 cents per kWh.
The new Apple facility will be the company's East Coast operations center. A document filed with the state indicates the data center will "take advantage of 3 hour time change on the East Coast to facilitate communications between European operations/sales and California for data transmission."
The North Carolina Department of Commerce projects that a data center investment of $1 billion would create more than 3,000 jobs in the regional economy, including hundreds of jobs related to construction and others created as a result of economic growth.
The incentive legislation mandated that the data center be located in an economically struggling rural area of the state and pay above-average salaries.