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The Madison Record

Facebook to invest in $750-million data center in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE – Facebook will invest $750 million to build a data center in Huntsville, creating 100 high-paying jobs.

Governor Kay Ivey, Facebook representatives and local leaders gathered in Huntsville on June 14 for the official announcement during a ceremony at Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

“Every day, millions of people around the world use Facebook’s products, and this new Alabama data center will soon play a role in keeping the company’s popular platforms running flawlessly,” Ivey said. “Facebook has found a great location in Sweet Home Alabama, and we’ll do our best to help the company grow and prosper here.”

After construction is complete, the Huntsville data center will employ approximately 100 people with an average annual salary of $80,000.

“We are excited to be joining the Huntsville community. As one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the country, we knew it would be a great location for our newest data center,” Matt VanderZanden said. VanderZanden is Facebook Director of Site Selection. 

“We are committed to having a positive impact at the local level and look forward to a strong partnership with the Huntsville community,” VanderZanden said.

Greg Canfield, Secretary of Alabama Department of Commerce, said Facebook is a great addition to the state’s growing roster of high-tech companies. “Facebook’s decision to locate its new, state-of-the-art data center in Huntsville reflects Alabama’s attractiveness to technology companies and marks another important chapter in the growth story of our tech sector,” Canfield said.

“Facebook is a world-class company, and we look forward to building a lasting partnership that sets the stage for even more growth,” Canfield said.

To facilitate the project, Facebook will receive an investment credit under the Alabama Jobs Act with an estimated value of $86.25 million over 10 years. For total new revenue during 30 years, the Data Center estimates $297.3 million that the state, county and city will divide.

Facebook officials said the company chose Alabama and the Huntsville area because of quality of life, a pro-business environment and a talented and available workforce.

Huntsville City Council gave unanimous approval on May 24 for Facebook’s project entity, Starbelt LLC, to purchase 340 acres at $8.5 million in North Huntsville Industrial Park.

“Huntsville’s Gig City strategy to sustain our position as a leader in the knowledge economy has brought us a company that knows something about creating connections,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “Facebook has built its business on connecting friends to family, businesses to customers and people to the world. Huntsville is proud to be the center of these connections with the construction of this data center.”

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale W. Strong said Madison County continues to excel in job creation and in workforce diversification.

“Today’s partnership with Facebook and their leadership once again shows our community is perfectly positioned for today’s high-tech market,” Strong said. “While our mission here in North Alabama has never been clearer, I feel we are setting conditions for greater success for generations to come.”

“The Huntsville metro is being recognized internationally as a smart place to do business,” Lucia Cape said. Cape is Senior Vice President of Economic Development with Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. “Today’s announcement of a Facebook data center in North Huntsville is possible because our community has invested in the infrastructure, focused on quality of life and made economic diversity a priority.”

For the project, Facebook has created a page at Facebook.com/HuntsvilleDataCenter. Click “Like” for updates specific to the Huntsville data center, including job postings, information on how to join in the construction process and more. 

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