Apple to invest $1B in Nevada data center, business facilities

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Apple is looking to sink $1 billion over the next ten years into a Reno, NV project that will include a data center dedicated to iCloud and a separately-located business and purchasing development.

According to online postings from city and county officials uncovered by the Reno Gazette Journal, the deal was months in the making and encompasses both a downtown Reno data center and "business park" as well as a recently-proposed separate 2,200 acre data farm near Sparks, NV.

The developers behind the massive undertaking, dubbed Project Jonathan, said that while the Reno facilities have been under planning for years, Apple only approached local and state officials about the Sparks center earlier this year.

Being developed by Unique Infrastructure Group, LLC, the Reno Technology Park will feature 1.5 million square feet of space for Apple's data center and is expected to go online later in 2012.

A report from consulting firm Applied Economics estimates that the overall economic impact of the project will be some $343 million while tax revenue from Apple over the next ten years is seen as netting local and state governments $16 million. The Cupertino, Calif. company will be getting an $89 million tax break including an 85 percent reduction in personal property tax for 10 to 30 years. Apple's effective sales tax rate is expected to be less than one percent.

Much like Apple's Maiden, NC data center, the 2,200-acre unit near Sparks will use renewable energy sources. A 2010 report from Data Center Knowledge claims initial plans for the project are set to include on-site power generation including 100 megawatts of wind power, up to 20 megawatts of geothermal energy and solar power from a 20-megawatt photovoltaic installation.

Map of Apple's planned Reno project. | Source: Washoe County

The Reno Technology Park site will create about 580 construction jobs that bring an estimated $103 million boost to the local economy. Following completion of the data center, Apple plans to keep a permanent staff of about 35 full-time workers who will receive salaries of at least $25 per hour, according to a corporate letter addressed to the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development.

Apple's downtown Reno project is located in the Tessera district and will take the place of derelict properties that were purchased over a number of years by Northern Nevada Urban Development.