EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland got emotional as he described the impact of Facebook’s new data center in Utah County.
“Words don’t really describe how big this is,” Westmoreland said.
The 970,000-square foot facility is being built at the Sweetwater Industrial Park on land adjacent to Eagle Mountain’s sewer plant.
“Almost 500 acres that currently brings in a whopping total of tax revenue of $66 a year: It’s virtually doing nothing out there,” Westmoreland said.
While Facebook itself only plans to hire 30 to 50 people, there will be hundreds of infrastructure jobs flooding into Eagle Mountain, an area that’s been thirsty for development, according to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
“It’s good to see some things happening that are not just on the I-15 corridor," Herbert said. "This is going to push things west into areas that have not been developed and probably wouldn’t have been developed for a long time into the future."
Gov. Herbert and other Utah Leaders like Representative Mia Love and Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes compared Facebook to the state’s founding pioneers.
“The scope of this project is certain to gain the attention of other companies looking for a future here in the state of Utah,” Love said.
Utah’s leaders are confident the social media giant will blaze the trail for other successful tech companies.
“Corporate citizens like Facebook really don’t come by themselves," Hughes said. "There’s a ripple effect. The silicon slopes is a growing sector of our economy."
Facebook is also making a huge commitment to Utah’s environment with the promise of powering the entire facility with renewable energy.
Facebook’s VP of Data Center Strategy, Rachel Peterson, says they look for four primary qualities when choosing a location: access to renewable energy, great infrastructure, a talented work force, and positive community partners.
“Facebook is in it for the long game and we look forward to having a long, successful partnership with Utah,” Peterson said.
The facility won’t open until 2020, but Facebook plans to start hiring immediately.