Links exist between Facebook and a proposed data center in far north Fort Worth, but rumors that the social media giant is coming to the Alliance Corridor have not been confirmed.
On Tuesday, the City Council approved $146.7 million in rebates on real and business property taxes over the next 20 years for the construction of a data center by the developer Winner Llc.
Winner’s registration with the secretary of state’s office lists an address for the Fenwick & West law firm in Seattle, which represents Facebook, the 11-year-old social networking site that boasts 1.44 billion active users.
Ellen Welichko is listed as Winner’s president and chief executive, and an Ellen Welichko is listed as a senior paralegal at Fenwick & West.
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The Dallas Morning News reported Friday that North Texas is trying to woo Facebook to the center, but Fort Worth officials would not confirm that Friday. Facebook officials have not responded to requests for comment.
“There are a lot of rumors floating around out there, but as far as we know, it is Winner Llc. and we are excited about that,” Mayor Betsy Price told the Star-Telegram.
“The data centers and data warehouses are part of the future right now, particularly for our region because we have great logistics and great space for them,” Price said.
Jay Chapa, director of Fort Worth’s economic development department, said he had no comment about the potential Facebook-Fort Worth connection.
Winner Llc. is looking to build up to three 250,000-square-foot centers and is choosing between Fort Worth and an undisclosed city outside Texas. The proposed $750 million project would bring 40 jobs, paying an average of $70,000 annually. The company is considering buying 150 acres at the northeast corner of Park Vista Boulevard and Texas 170, about 2 miles from Cabela’s, in the AllianceTexas development.
Curt Holcomb, a senior vice president for the commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which is not handling the deal, said he was aware of the Facebook rumor but did not know whether the company is behind the project.
Holcomb, whose specialty is data center solutions, said the area is perfect for that type of development, with infrastructure that can support the massive power needs of a large data center and also “a healthy amount of fiber that is in the ground.”
“Those two things are probably the most important things for users to consider when they are looking for locations,” Holcomb said.
Facebook says its data centers house “thousands of computer servers, which are networked together and linked to the outside world through fiber-optic cables. Think of a data center as essentially one very large computer that contains the collective computing infrastructure to make Web properties, like Facebook, work.”
The company has since completed several others, including one in Altoona, Iowa, outside Des Moines; one in Forest City, N.C.; and one in Lulea, Sweden.
The center in Altoona, completed in 2014, according to the The Des Moines Register, is a $300 million, 476,000-square-foot building.
Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727