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Google commits further $1bn to Central Ohio data centre cluster

Hyperscale developer also grows its land banking portfolio in the state and owns now more than 1,000 acres lined up for data centre development.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

August 19, 2021 | 11:19 PM BST

Alphabet’s Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) said today it will commit an additional US$1 billion to expand its data centre operations in New Albany, outside of Columbus, Ohio.

Additionally, the Alphabet subsidiary said it has also acquired further land plots outside of Columbus totalling 618 acres in Columbus and Lancaster “for potential future data centre locations”. This brings Google’s land ownership in the State to more than 1,000 acres lined up for potential data centre development.

Governor Mike DeWine said Thursday in a statement: “We are delighted that Google Cloud has committed to expanding its presence in Ohio, further solidifying the state’s position as one of the country’s leading destinations for cloud technology investment.

“Google Cloud is choosing to expand here yet again, continuing a growth trend of cloud computing investments that we are seeing throughout Ohio.”

In New Albany, Google first broke ground on its first development in 2019 under a capital commitment of $600 million.

The 447-acre piece of land at the New Albany International Business Park where the site operates was originally acquired by Google’s subsidiary Montauk Innovations LLC in 2018.

New Albany Mayor Sloan Spalding, said: “New Albany has seen the positive impact Google has on our local economy. We are thrilled to see Google continue to invest and grow in our community.”

Reginald Mcknight, Google’s Regional Head of External Affairs & Community Development, added: “We are proud to be an Ohio company and excited about the opportunity to continue our growth in the state.

“With its business-friendly environment, central location, and skilled workforce, we are excited to be part of the thriving community that is continuing to chart a new path for Ohio’s economy.”

Google did not give any further information or timescales for the development of the two new pieces of land in Columbus and Lancaster.

However, Lancaster’s Mayor David Scheffler said: “We have been working on this for over a year. City staff has spent thousands of hours on this project. We have been excited for a long time and happy to see it announced.’’

The Columbus data centre market has been growing handsomely over the last decade, with several companies establishing facilities in and around the city. These include for example and in addition to Google, AWS, Facebook, Cologix, Compass Datacenters, Iron Mountain and STACK Infrastructure.

According to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2021 Data Center Global Market Comparison report, Columbus is one of the top 10 most affordable tier one markets when it comes to land cost. The region also scores high by access to local, long-haul, and international networks.

Columbus is also big on tax incentives offered to data centre developers, with Google being no exception, and has one of the lowest sales tax percentages when compared to other global markets. In Cushman & Wakefield’s report, only Singapore, NYC-Northern NJ, Seattle, Boston, Northern Virginia, Portland and Hong Kong have lower sales tax percentages than Columbus.

For its first Ohio data centre, Google received a 15-year property tax abatement from New Albany and a 15-year sales tax exemption from the state that is estimated to be about a $43.5 million break.

Google said in a statement: “When the Columbus cloud region is operational, local organisations across industries — like retail, manufacturing, financial services and public sector — will have faster access to secure infrastructure, smart analytics tools and an open platform, all on the cleanest cloud in the industry.”

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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