Yahoo Gets the OK For Buffalo Data Center Expansion

Yahoo received approval from the town of Lockport for its data center expansion plans. The second Lockport project will be adjacent to its current complex, and will consist of 242,000 square feet, with a first phase of 165,000 square feet.

Jason Verge

September 20, 2013

2 Min Read
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An aerial view of the Yahoo data center in Lockport, N.Y.


An aerial view of the first phase of the Yahoo data center in Lockport, N.Y.

Yahoo’s slow-moving expansion in Buffalo has received the OK to move forward from the town of Lockport. The company announced the expansion back in March of this year, following its purchase of additional land. On Tuesday the Lockport planning board voted unanimously to approve Yahoo’s plans.

Lockport is home to 275,000 square feet of Yahoo data center space, which is part of the company’s global initiative to make its data center footprint more efficient and sustainable. The first site features many innovative features and refinements, and is famously known for adopting principles of chicken coops.

The second Yahoo project in Lockport will be built in two phases, with the total project consisting of 242,000 square feet. The first phase will be 165,000 square feet, and will include data center pods and half of the central core operations building, which houses a 24-hour customer care call center. Construction is anticipated to start in December.  The first phase will include all of the utilities and generators needed for both halves of the construction.

Part two is more of the same, consisting of the second half of operations and the second computer pod, with construction to begin at an undisclosed future date.

In April, Yahoo landed a 20-year package of property tax and sales tax breaks, approved by the Town of Lockport Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors. The tax breaks are expected to save Yahoo more than $30 million. The tax break package includes a 20-year sales tax abatement for building materials and equipment, as well as 100 percent abatement of property tax for 10 years. The property tax exemption would then be reduced by 20 percent every two years for the next eight.

According to Lockport Journal, the Town Attorney Michael J. Norris said some blasting may be needed to excavate the bedrock on the property. But officials said blasting was possible during the construction of the current Yahoo buildings and it wasn’t needed after all.

The first phases of the Lockport project, built in 2010-11, featured 275,000 square feet of data center space housed in five 120-by-60 foot prefabricated metal structures using the Yahoo Computing Coop data center design. The project was part of a global initiative to make Yahoo’s data center footprint more efficient and sustainable, saving millions of dollars in power costs along the way.

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