Connect with us


15 Discoveries: How Google came to Fort Wayne

15 Discoveries: How Google came to Fort Wayne


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Rumors have been circulating for months about who was behind the proposed Zodiac project on Fort Wayne's southeast side, but those in the know have been busy making near-daily plans and meeting deadlines to attract a $2 billion Google data center.

Jonathan Leist, Fort Wayne Community Development Director;

“Every day, [asking] “So if this approval happens, when will the next approval come and what will be the order of events?” Fort Wayne Community Development Director Jonathan Leist said.

Those with knowledge of the situation were bound by non-disclosure agreements and had to keep secrets, putting billion-dollar deals on hold for months while lobbying the government to move at the speed of business.

“That's what we need to do,” said Ashley Savio, director of economic and business development for American Electric Power (AEP).

Ashley Savio, Director of Economic and Business Development, American Electric Power (AEP)

Savio was the first to let the Greater Fort Wayne Corp. (GFW), the economic development agency for Fort Wayne and Allen County, know that Google is already working with AEP in Ohio and has asked Savio to suggest other potential sites that could accommodate the large-scale electric, water and sewer services needed for the data center.

The immediate problem for GFW was the 200 acres on Paulding Road that it had acquired from a previous owner for economic development, but which was not enough to house the entire project.

Textbook collaboration

“Our role was to secure a purchase agreement that would ultimately allow Google to secure more than 800 acres for one of the largest and most technologically advanced data center campuses in the world,” said Ellen Cutter, GFW's chief economic development officer.

That meant using a limited liability company to do the land deal, after which GFW transferred its purchase option, allowing Google to buy the land directly from the owner.

Meanwhile, the city of New Haven had to “de-annex” about 60 acres of land and watch as the area was re-annexed with Allen County because Google wanted to work with one government entity: the city of Fort Wayne.

The GFW convened discussions between local governments.

New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael saw the deal as a win-win and said in an email that he joined the partnership “to drive economic growth” and demonstrate the city's commitment to Allen County residents.

“This initiative will benefit New Haven now and in the future by creating new job opportunities and attracting new businesses,” he wrote.

Although the county commissioners' role was limited to approving rezoning and clearing portions of roads in unincorporated parts of Allen County, they called the project a “no-brainer” and supported Google's efforts to meet its target timeline.

Ellen Cutter, chief economic development officer for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

We believe this project will be a catalyst for positive growth and development in southeast Allen County, and we hope that the collaboration between Allen County, New Haven and Fort Wayne will serve as a model for other communities seeking to attract Fortune 500 companies. When Fort Wayne, New Haven, Woodburn or any of our towns have an economic development “win,” all of Allen County benefits,” Allen County Commissioners Rich Beck, Therese Brown and Nelson Peters said in a joint statement.

Cutter agreed that the project was a perfect case study in collaboration.

“This wouldn't have been possible without the relationships and trust built over the years between all of our local partners,” she added.

“It took about 12 months from concept to construction, but what I'm most proud of is the spirit of all the partners who worked on this project. We started with a 'yes' mentality.”

Large-scale infrastructure

Even after Fort Wayne took control of all the land, the project still had some infrastructure hurdles to clear, and that task fell to Matthew Wertz, chief engineer for Fort Wayne Utilities.

Matthew Wertz, Chief Engineer, Fort Wayne Utilities

“Some locations were better than others,” Wiltz told WANE 15. “Adams Center was a really good location.”

Wirtz said the timeline was “fairly aggressive” and required his team to brainstorm and sometimes work from hand-drawn maps, but the effort has benefited not just Google but New Haven as well.

Historic Day: Google's $2 Billion Data Center Campus Partners with I&M, Ivy Tech

“We've been able to build the infrastructure that will support their future development,” Wiltz said.

Mayor Henry's Leadership

When Google first approached the city in late 2022, Leist was working with his then-boss, Nancy Townsend, along with Tom Henry as mayor and Sharon Tucker as city council member, who represented the 6th District, where the project was proposed.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in April, Mayor Tucker thanked Henry for “starting this and running with it.”

That fact is not lost on Leist, who said attracting new investment to the Southeast Side was a very important part of Mayor Henry's reelection campaign. Google said it plans to hire 200 employees at the location, but that doesn't include the hundreds of skilled trades and construction workers it expects to have there for a decade.

Tucker said at the groundbreaking that she drove to New Albany, Ohio, to see the Google data center for herself to determine whether it would be a good fit for the area, and concluded it was an “incredible opportunity.”

Opponents have doubts

Not everyone thinks so. Opponents of this project, or any other, are moving anonymously at the speed of business and find that they have less time to protest.

Jorge Fernández questions the wisdom of speed and anonymity in public works

“It makes it even harder to hear from the community,” said Jorge Fernandez, a frequent political candidate and member of the Facebook group Stop FW Data Center Campus.

Fernandez said he's not against data centers, but he questioned whether public agencies should be forced to speed up certain projects but not others, and he doesn't support non-disclosure agreements.

“If there hadn't been an element of secrecy, members of the public might have been able to point out how Google's proposals were inconsistent with its own website and could even be seen as greenwashing.”

What's next?

Savio is confident AEP can handle both Google's electricity needs and its next big project, which includes more sustainable green power.

“I can't really say much about it,” she laughed, “but the agreement is being signed.”




The mention sources can contact us to remove/changing this article

What Are The Main Benefits Of Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Online

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020, / Compare-autoinsurance.Org has launched a new blog post that presents the main benefits of comparing multiple car insurance quotes. For more info and free online quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/the-advantages-of-comparing-prices-with-car-insurance-quotes-online/ The modern society has numerous technological advantages. One important advantage is the speed at which information is sent and received. With the help of the internet, the shopping habits of many persons have drastically changed. The car insurance industry hasn't remained untouched by these changes. On the internet, drivers can compare insurance prices and find out which sellers have the best offers. View photos The advantages of comparing online car insurance quotes are the following: Online quotes can be obtained from anywhere and at any time. Unlike physical insurance agencies, websites don't have a specific schedule and they are available at any time. Drivers that have busy working schedules, can compare quotes from anywhere and at any time, even at midnight. Multiple choices. Almost all insurance providers, no matter if they are well-known brands or just local insurers, have an online presence. Online quotes will allow policyholders the chance to discover multiple insurance companies and check their prices. Drivers are no longer required to get quotes from just a few known insurance companies. Also, local and regional insurers can provide lower insurance rates for the same services. Accurate insurance estimates. Online quotes can only be accurate if the customers provide accurate and real info about their car models and driving history. Lying about past driving incidents can make the price estimates to be lower, but when dealing with an insurance company lying to them is useless. Usually, insurance companies will do research about a potential customer before granting him coverage. Online quotes can be sorted easily. Although drivers are recommended to not choose a policy just based on its price, drivers can easily sort quotes by insurance price. Using brokerage websites will allow drivers to get quotes from multiple insurers, thus making the comparison faster and easier. For additional info, money-saving tips, and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ Compare-autoinsurance.Org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. "Online quotes can easily help drivers obtain better car insurance deals. All they have to do is to complete an online form with accurate and real info, then compare prices", said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. CONTACT: Company Name: Internet Marketing CompanyPerson for contact Name: Gurgu CPhone Number: (818) 359-3898Email: [email protected]: https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ SOURCE: Compare-autoinsurance.Org View source version on accesswire.Com:https://www.Accesswire.Com/595055/What-Are-The-Main-Benefits-Of-Comparing-Car-Insurance-Quotes-Online View photos


to request, modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]