Facebook is attracting some friends to Fort Worth.
Just months after welcoming a massive Facebook data center to the AllianceTexas development in far north Fort Worth, the developer Hillwood has announced plans for a data center campus in the same area.
Hillwood says the new complex will be built on up to 400 acres near Texas 170 between Interstate 35W and U.S. 377, in partnership with T5 Investors and IPI Data Centers Partners Management. The area is just north of Facebook’s property, along Litsey Road near where the Fort Worth city limits meet Roanoke.
The venture is being backed by ICONIQ Capital, a wealth management company that includes Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
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The project aims to attract companies that need places to store massive amounts of data — think of names like Amazon, Oracle and Google — by offering prepared pad sites and the promise of ample resources.
Vast fiber optics and an electricity supply from two sources — Oncor and Brazos Electric Power Cooperative — makes AllianceTexas a good location for data centers, said Hillwood Properties Vice President Reid Goetz.
“This is the first hyper-scaled project of its size in North Texas,” Goetz said, adding that at buildout it could double the amount of data capacity in North Texas.
Officials didn’t disclose when construction would begin or how many jobs it might create. Generally, data centers aren’t known so much for job creation — although the workers they employ tend to be well-paid — as for growing the tax base without becoming a drain on cities and school districts, Goetz said.
But hypothetically, a $1 billion investment in a data center could easily bring 150 or so jobs, Goetz said.
Once built out, Facebook’s $1 billion data center could add as many as 300 jobs, another source said, although its workforce isn’t yet certain. After initially agreeing to come to Fort Worth and open a small data center, Facebook announced last year that it would triple the size of its Alliance complex to five buildings totaling about 2.5 million square feet.
It has the potential to become Facebook’s largest data center in the world. The Facebook project began in 2015 and the company’s first building went online in May.
As for the new project, the pad sites will make it possible for data companies to make a move to Fort Worth with minimal red tape, Goetz added.
“Cloud and hyper-scale data center users are looking for locations that can offer a growth pathway, incentives, resiliency and speed to operation, all with low costs,” Pete Marin, President and CEO of T5, said in a statement. “This partnership with Hillwood and IPI Partners brings together a highly experienced team ready to deliver hyper-scale campuses for discerning data center customers.”
No incentives were involved in inking the deal for the data center itself, although future occupants could request incentives from the city of Fort Worth, Northwest school district or other local governments as a condition of moving into the facility, Goetz said.
This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.