Google Picks Mesa for Giant Data Center

Credit: East Valley Tribune

By Jim Walsh for East Valley Tribune

Technology giant Google is coming to Mesa, lured by a tax incentive agreement to build a massive data center in the emerging Elliot Road Technology Corridor.

The Mesa City Council is primed to approve the Google development agreement at its meeting on Monday night.

Mayor John Giles said there are still elements of the project that need to be worked out – such as Google buying the property, 186 acres located at Elliot and Sossaman roads in southeast Mesa.

Giles said Google’s decision to build the data center in Mesa means that the Elliot Road Tech Corridor will be anchored at each end by one of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple and Google.

He said the project has been known to insiders by a code name, “Project Red Hawk,’’ for more than a year because Mesa signed a confidentiality agreement with Google.

Vice Mayor Mark Freeman said that Google would be buying the property from the Morrison family, long time East Valley farmers who have been selling off parts of their holdings for different types of developments, including the Morrison Ranch subdivision in southeast Gilbert.

Bill Jabjiniak, Mesa’s economic development director, played a major role in the negotiations. In a slideshow after the executive session, estimated the Google project will produce $156,567,507 in revenues for the city.

If the tax incentive plan takes effect, the projected revenue to the city in excise taxes is estimated at nearly $33M during the same 25-year period, as opposed to nearly $49M if Google were to build the data center without the tax incentive.

He said the incentive plan, called a “GPLET,’’ or Government Property Lease Excise Tax, would be in effect for 25 years if it is approved by the council.

Jabiniak said during his presentation that the data center would cover a staggering 750KSF.

Google has up to five years to begin construction on the data center and up to 10 years to finish building it, under the terms of the agreement, Jabiniak said.

Read more at East Valley Tribune.

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