Apple confirms $1bn data center
Reverse manifest destiny
Apple will build its first data center on America's east coast now that North Carolina agreed to massive tax breaks designed to lure the company.
The same day NC governor Beverly Perdue signed a lucrative corporate incentives deal into law, Apple confirmed it is browsing locations within the state for a new $1bn data center.
"We welcome Apple to North Carolina and look forward to working with the company as it begins providing a significant economic boost to local communities and the state," Perdue said in a statement.
The incentive law requires that Apple set up shop in one of North Carolina's poorest counties. An Apple spokesman told the Charlotte Observer, it expects construction to begin right away once it acquires land in a suitably destitute area.
The legislation also calls for a company to provide workers with health insurance, pay certain wages, and invest $1bn within nine years.
In return, Apple gets tax breaks worth about $46m over the next decade. Opponents of North Carolina's new tax incentive law say the legislation authorizes a separate tax formula favoring one specific corporation over existing firms within the state.
Apple's East-coast foray will employ at least 50 people full-time according to the company, although Perdue's office said it could generate 250 jobs providing services like repair, building, landscaping and security.
"During these tough economic times, it's important to make the investments that create jobs in areas that need the most," stated Perdue. ®
Of course, highly skilled datacenter maintenance crews typically live in the poorest counties.
What a joke.
So let's assume it is 50 jobs. That's almost a million dollars per job on average. Over ten years, it MIGHT be a break-even, assuming the state doesn't end up picking up the tab for a lot of infrastructure improvements. And a bunch of the taxes paid on the wages will be going to the Federal, not state gov't.
This whole thing is a race to the bottom, and since we have no national policy, it's not going to get any better. States would be better off streamlining the paperwork and taxes that small businesses have to pay, and making it possible for small businesses to form groups for negotiating health care (each state has a small business association, for example, use that) to get the rates down.
Almost every state and lots of cities do this - big breaks to certain (larger, well-connected businesses), even if there aren't going to be many local jobs, and they're indifferent to the businesses that employ the most people. Small businesses are the largest employer in this country, it's time that the policies reflected that.
Not that bad
How many datacentres look ugly? The company I work for has several, and they just look like common office blocks, since to advertise otherwise would be unwise. Same for other companies I know of. As for local jobs, I'm guessing a $1bn DC is going to be, like, a tier 4 or something. That will require some fairly serious facilities for mains power, backup generators, comms links etc, so there will be some local jobs.