Updated, 3:15 p.m.

With its initial data center still under construction in Altoona, Facebook announced today that it will move forward with a second phase that will double its footprint in Central Iowa.

 

In a post on its Altoona data center page, Facebook officials said the City of Altoona Planning and Zoning Board is expected to review the plans for the additional building at its meeting Tuesday. Those plans are to go before the Altoona City Council May 5.

 

"With the support of the terrific partners we've found here in Iowa, Altoona will also be part of the cutting-edge infrastructure that will soon play a crucial role in connecting billions around the world," the company said. "We're thrilled to be here and investing further in this great community."

 

Just one year ago, Gov. Terry Branstad announced that Facebook would be building the data center in Altoona. The company said its minimum investment in that center would be $299.5 million, but that the project could grow to a second and third phase to as much as a $1.5 billion investment.

 

At 468,000 square feet, Facebook's Altoona 2 facility will be just a little larger than the 467,000 square-foot building that's currently under construction.  Facebook officials said it will have the same layout as the first data center, which is expected to be completed late this year.

 

"Like we've done at our other data center sites, we expand as business needs dictate," said Brice Towns, data center manager for Facebook in Altoona, in an email. "Our original plans for Altoona included the possibility of up to three full-size buildings."

 

Facebook does not plan to seek additional economic development incentives from the state for the new phase, Towns said. The company received $18 million in tax benefits from the state's High Quality Jobs program for the project in April 2013.

 

Altoona City Administrator Jeff Mark said there were indications by late fall of last year that Facebook officials were favorably impressed with the Altoona project's progress.

 

"We started hearing this around late fall that they were very pleased with the quality of the tradesmen, the contractors and subcontractors, and the quality of the work and the speed with which they got their jobs done," Mark said. "That probably led to their decision, while they had all the contractors working, to move forward with phase two. ... I would have to say that when they first announced the project, we didn't expect (phase two) to happen this quickly, but we're pleased that it is."



Our earlier coverage

Facebook announced today that it plans to build a second data center building in Altoona.

In a Facebook post, Facebook officials said the City of Altoona Planning and Zoning Board is expected to review the plans for the additional building at its meeting on Tuesday, and plans will go before the Altoona City Council on May 5.

Facebook’s Altoona 2 facility is expected to be approximately the same size and layout as the 467,000 square-foot building that’s currently under construction. Just one year ago, Gov. Terry Branstad announced that Facebook would be building the data center in Altoona. The company said its minimum investment in that center would be $299.5 million, but that the project could grow to be a $1.5 billion investment.

“With the support of the terrific partners we’ve found here in Iowa, Altoona will also be part of the cutting-edge infrastructure that will soon play a crucial role in connecting billions around the world,” the company said in its data center page. “We’re thrilled to be here and investing further in this great community.

The first phase of the Altoona data center is expected to be completed late this year.