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Apple reportedly looking to double size of Oregon data center

Aerial pictures of Apple's Oregon data center site. | Source: Wired

Although Apple's Prineville, Ore., data center is still being built, the company is reportedly looking to purchase more land at a nearby location that will purportedly be home to a second structure of equal size.

According to a report from The Oregonian, Apple is considering a 96-acre plot near Prineville to serve as a twin extension to its 338,000-square-foot data center that is currently under construction. To put that into perspective, Apple's server building will be 65 percent larger than the biggest Costco outlet.

Crook County assistant planning director Phil Stenbeck told the publication that an industrial user named "Project Pillar" has expressed interest in the land. The official refused to identify the company behind the apparent alias, but The Oregonian claims it is "plainly Apple."

For one, the property, which Crook County is trying to bring within city limits for industrial zoning, holds the same tax exemptions as Apple's current Prineville land.

It was reported in April that Apple will pay some $150,000 each year to the governments of Prineville and Crook County in return for a 15-year property tax exemption. Attached to the arrangement is a promise that the data center will be staffed by 35 people, some of whom will receive wages up to 150 percent higher than the regional average.

Further, Stenbeck said Project Pillar was once called Maverick, a code name Apple used when it purchased the first Prineville plot, which is believed to support Apple's growing iCloud services.

Officials said they had no guesses as to Pillar's timetable for acquiring and developing the land. If the company behind the curtain is indeed Apple, the vacuum of solid information will likely remain firmly in place, as is standard operating procedure for the Cupertino tech giant.