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Facebook Chooses New Mexico

Facebook Chooses New Mexico

The data center will create about 50 permanent jobs and 300 construction jobs in its initial phase. And there could be more phases, construction and investment in the future, the company said.

Firm To Build $250 Million Data Center In Los Lunas

Could Be The First Of Many Phases



Social media giant Facebook will build its $250 million data center in Los Lunas, the company and Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday.

The announcement came after a summer of speculation and competition between New Mexico and Utah to get the facility. The data center will create about 50 permanent jobs and 300 construction jobs in its initial phase. And there could be more phases, construction and investment in the future, the company said.

“Facebook has committed to buying local materials and hiring local employees to the greatest extent possible, as it prepares to build and staff a facility that will span more than 510,00 square feet in its initial phase — with the potential to for multiple phases, which would create more full-time staffing jobs and construction positions,” said the announcement from the company and Martinez.

Los Lunas has already approved $30 billion in industrial revenue bonds for Facebook, a move that will reduce the company’s property taxes.

“Facebook is a stellar, cutting-edge, high-tech company, and it’s an honor to welcome them to New Mexico,” Martinez said. “Making our state more competitive for jobs and new investment is critical to growing our private sector and diversifying our economy. With the improvements we’ve made over the past several years, New Mexico is finally competing again, and in this case, it’s a big win for the people of our state and our economic future.”

Tom Furlong, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure, said the company is committed to buying local materials and hiring as many local people as possible to build the 510,000-square-foot facility.

“We’re thrilled to have found a home in New Mexico and embark on this new partnership with the State of New Mexico and the Village of Los Lunas,” Furlong said. “Everything here has been as advertised — from the great set of community partners and strong pool of talent to the opportunity to power our facility with 100 percent renewable energy. New Mexico is a great place to do business. We’re excited to announce this initial investment and look forward to future phases of development.”

New Mexico’s congressional delegation broke the news of the deal in a joint statement Wednesday morning.

“We welcome Facebook to New Mexico and are proud to help secure this new investment in our state’s future,” the statement said. “Facebook will bring innovative opportunities for our economy and much needed jobs. As a leader in energy development, New Mexico is an ideal fit for the new facility, which is planned to be powered with 100 percent renewable energy.”

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has approved a special services contract between Facebook and the Public Service Company of New Mexico that says the utility will provide up to $31 million worth of electricity a year to the data center.

New Mexico is also expected to provide other incentives to Facebook, including some money from the state’s $50 million closing fund that helps firms with various types of infrastructure projects.

Martinez said she first started talking with Facebook officials last August when she led an economic development team to northern California to meet with company officials and pitch New Mexico as a great place to do business.

“When we first sat down with Facebook executives 13 months ago, we weren’t even on their radar. But we made a strong case and laid out how competitive we have become,” Martinez said. “Two months later, we got the call and went straight to work. We competed. And, by working together at all levels of government, and with private partners like PNM, we have helped make New Mexico a home for one of the largest tech companies in the world.”

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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