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Google confirms plans for $1B data center in Hunt Midwest Business Park
Kansas City Business Journal

Google confirmed Wednesday that it plans to invest $1 billion building a data center campus in Kansas City’s Northland.

The search engine giant announced plans to build a multiphase data center campus in the Hunt Midwest Business Center, though the Kansas City Business Journal reported previously that Google is behind the data center plans. Google’s first data center is expected to come online in 2025.

The new data center will play a key role in supporting Google’s work with artificial intelligence (AI), as well as expanding its Google Cloud and Workspace business.

“There is a hardware component to artificial intelligence, and that is what you will have here. You will be putting in all that infrastructure — servers, racks, fiber network — and that becomes a lot of the execution you see,” Monique Picou, global vice president of cloud supply chain and operations for Google, said in an interview after the news conference.

The facility is expected to support 100 full-time Google employees as well as 1,000 temporary construction jobs. Picou said that with additional logistics and warehousing staff needed to support the facility, she estimated that the total number of permanent jobs will be closer to 1,400.

Picou said the first phase will include constructing a pair of data center buildings. She declined to disclose how many buildings would be included in the total project or the estimated square footage of the data centers.

In October, Google submitted its first proposal for construction plans, outlining 1.435 million square feet of four construction phases and multiple buildings. JE Dunn Construction and Global Earthwork + Underground indicated in the fall that site work was scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“We are still working on those finalized plans,” Picou said. “We’ll have a couple buildings in round one, but we’re hopefully going to be adding more.”

The company began acquiring land at Hunt Midwest Business Park, northeast of Parvin Road and Arlington Avenue, between 2019 and 2021, which the Kansas City Business Journal reported first. Google acquired land through Shalerock LLC, eventually amassing 315.3 acres by 2023.

“Google’s decision to locate their new data center campus at Hunt Midwest Business Center is the culmination of the long-term vision and sustained teamwork of so many strategic partners at every level,” Hunt Midwest CEO Ora Reynolds said in a release

Gov. Mike Parson also lauded the development.

“Google’s selection of the Kansas City region is another example of our state’s ability to attract and support world-class companies,” he said in the release. “Our skilled workforce, superior infrastructure and prime business climate continue to result in investments from leading employers.”

As part of the deal, Google plans to expand its skilled trade career development program and contribute $100,000 to support alternative education STEAM programs for the North Kansas City School District.

To support the electrical needs of the data centers, Google entered into a purchase agreement with Ranger Power and DESRI to buy about 400 megawatts of power from the Missouri-based Beavertail solar farm. The agreement will support Google’s goal to power all its data centers and campuses on carbon-free energy by 2030.

In July 2019, Port KC commissioners authorized $25 billion in bonds over a 35-year period to provide a property tax exemption for the project. However the value of that exemption was unclear in 2023.

“Kansas City continues to be one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the country, thanks to our prime location with thousands of hardworking, skilled workers,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said in the release.

In January, Google bought close to 500 additional acres for a separate data center development. AG Rose Solutions LLC, an affiliate of the search engine giant, acquired approximately 493 acres northeast of Interstate 435 and U.S. Highway 169.

Also in the Northland, Meta Platforms Inc. is building an $800 million data center with a targeted operational start this year northwest of Interstate 435 and U.S. Highway 169. There, the parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has acquired about 874 acres with master plans approved for as much as 5.5 million square feet of data center construction.