North Carolina, already home to several large corporate data centers, could be about to get one more.
State officials will make a major economic development announcement in Rutherford County on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
The site of the announcement, just off U.S. 74 in Forest City, is near a Rutherford County-owned park specifically designed to house data centers.
The Rutherford County Board of Commissioners voted today to give more than $1 million in incentives to Andale, LLC, a subsidiary of a "well-known" parent company that wasn't disclosed.
Thomas L. Johnson, executive director of the county's economic development commission, told the board that Andale has committed to invest at least $450 million to build a data center.
The center would ultimately employ about 42 people, Johnson said.
Rutherford County is selling Andale 144 acres, plus the option to buy an additional 15 acres, for about $3.1 million.
The site has the potential to house three buildings, but the initial phase will involve the construction of one building.
North Carolina has rapidly become a hub for data centers, thanks partly to cheap and reliable electricity and cheap land. This summer, North Carolina lawmakers also approved new incentives aimed at luring even more data centers.
The law grants an exemption on sales and taxes on electricity and business property if a company invests at least $250 million for land and construction over five years. Those incentives would come on top of other incentives typically provided by state and local officials tied to jobs and investment.
Keith Crisco, the state's commerce secretary, and Lt. Governor Walter Dalton will both be in attendance at Thursday's event.
Mark Johnson, a spokesman for Gov. Bev Perdue's office, and Billy Warden, a Raleigh public relations executive who is listed as a contact for the event, declined to comment on the announcement.
Rutherford County's Corporate Data Center Park includes a 300,000 square foot shell of a building available for lease and 89 acres of additional property for data centers.
The park has an electrical substation located within it, and the county says it offers electricity rates that are 10 to 30 percent below the national average.