Soon Google will have more bit barns in Texas than you can shake a stick at: Second facility planned for Ellis County

'Alamo Mission LLC' to splash $600m on city of Red Oak

Google has identified a parcel of land for its second bit barn in Ellis County, Texas, even though the first one is still months away from completion.

The Chocolate Factory wants to build in Red Oak, a city of about 13,000 people, located 20 minutes south of Dallas and 30 minutes southeast of Fort Worth.

According to the Waxahachie Daily Light, the Ellis County council voted unanimously to approve the project, with Google agreeing to invest $600m in Red Oak, in return for a 10-year tax abatement on property (100 per cent) and improvements (85 per cent).

We say "Google", but all the negotiations so far were handled by a shell company called Alamo Mission LLC, established specifically for this purpose.

Using shell companies for data centre negotiations is a well-known strategy. Google used Sharka LLC when it was planning its first Ellis County campus in the city of Midlothian, and Facebook previously contracted space as Raven Northbrook in Nebraska and Siculus in Iowa.

The upcoming Google bit barn in Nevada, announced earlier this month, was negotiated by Jasmine Development.

Unlike previous cases, however, the secrecy was short-lived. Following the council meeting, Red Oak city manager Todd Fuller publicly announced that the tax-abatement proposal for Alamo Mission LLC actually involved the tech giant – even though the deal is still in the air.

"Although we are excited and hopeful at this point, the final deal is not yet complete," he said.

"There are still additional steps in the process before Google will finalize the purchase of the property, including tax abatement incentives with Ellis County, so no timeline for development has been established." The company has its eyes on a 166-acre piece of farmland alongside State Highway 342.

If the project goes ahead, the city stands to make at least $475,000 in annual property tax revenue, even after considering all the abatements.

In order to fulfil its end of the bargain, Google would have to employ at least 40 full-time staff by the end of the fifth year of occupancy. ®

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