The Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve resolutions to bring two data centers into the county through participation under a Douglas County tax incentive plan.
The two new data centers bring the total number of data centers to eight within Douglas County, said Development Authority of Douglas County Executive Director Chris Pumphrey.
The BOC voted unanimously to approve the Switch project Supernap Atlanta, LLC for participation in Douglas County’s tax incentive plan. The one million square foot co-location data center is considered a major boost to the state and county’s economy as the largest economic investment in Georgia and in Douglas County history with a $2.5 billion investment.
Originally known as “Project Hoover,” the project was announced by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last May as Switch, which has four campuses in the United States. The new Douglas County location will be the highest-rated data center in the Southeast, he said.
The company is based in Las Vegas, Nevada where it operates the largest data center in the United States at 2.2 million square feet.
The plan entails three phases, with each of the three planned buildings falling under a 10-year tax incentive plan, said Pumphrey. He said the campus will be located “across the street from Google.”
The company said it would add a minimum of 105 new jobs with wages of at least $25 per hour with an investment of approximately $702.5 million in Douglas County, which will be undertaken in three phases of construction.
Pumphrey said that already Supernap Atlanta has paid $30,000 in property taxes on the site during this tax year and is anticipated to pay approximately $3 million in county and school taxes based on its servers.
Rob Elliot, senior vice president of public affairs for Switch, who attended both the work session and Tuesday’s voting meeting, said that Switch focuses on being a partner with the community.
“Our focus is on STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math,” he said, “which creates the whole mind of a human being.”
He said the company is “here to stay” in Douglas County and that he has already relocated to the Atlanta area.
“We want to be part of the county,” Elliot said. He said that the company actively recruits people coming out of the military to work for the company.
“Seventy percent of our workforce is veterans,” he said. “We work in a ‘mission critical’ environment.”
A second resolution was conditionally approved Tuesday for T5 Data Center LLC under the tax incentive plan if the county’s planning and zoning board approves the site for rezoning Tuesday night. The zoning board's vote was taken after Sentinel press time.
The request under consideration for rezoning is PUD-C to LI-R (Restricted Light Industrial), for a 130,000 square foot data center located on Factory Shoals Road, Lithia Springs, 30122. Land lot(s) 772, District 18, Section 2, Parcel(s) 4. Lot size: 38.8 acre(s). The application was signed by Frank Lyles, chief business officer and one of the founders of the Atlanta-based company.
The 40-acre site is located on the north side of Factory Shoals Road just west of its intersection with Thornton Road. According to Pumphrey, the site is a vacant parcel originally zoned in 2002 and revised in 2006 to be a town home development that never broke ground.
T5 Data is a 10-year-old, Atlanta-based co-location data center with a 100,000-square-foot facility in Alpharetta. They will be going international by setting up a data center in Ireland, said Lyles.
He said the company’s data center customers are Fortune 500 or better.
In the Lithia Springs data center, T5 will open phase I with a 130,000 square foot, 10 megawatt facility. The two-phased project will make a $100 million investment, with an initial investment of $60 million.
Pumphrey said that both of the new data centers will be under the requirements of the overlay of the Sweetwater Master Plan.