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Cedar Rapids City Council moves forward with plans for Google data center

Cedar Rapids City Council moves forward with plans for Google data center


Two initiatives advanced by the Cedar Rapids City Council this week are helping bring to fruition a proposed Google data center project on the city's southwest side. At its June 11 meeting, the council unanimously approved plans and specifications for the project to extend a 30-inch water main from Edgewood Road. […]

Two initiatives advanced by the Cedar Rapids City Council this week will help pave the way for the proposed Google data center project in the southwest part of the city. At its June 11 meeting, the City Council unanimously approved plans and specifications for a project to extend a 30-inch water main from Edgewood Road SW west to the Big Cedar Industrial Center. According to Utilities Director Roy Hesseman, the project, with an estimated cost of $5 million, will provide water service to all current and future developments in the Big Cedar Industrial Center, including Google's planned data center. Construction of the first phase of the project, consisting of an estimated 5,650 feet of water main, is expected to begin in August and be completed by spring 2025, according to city council documents. The project drew comments from Isaac Davis, a local resident who attends regular city council meetings. He said he supports the plan, but that there needs to be transparency in active management regarding the $5 million investment. Businessmen may appreciate the phrase that what gets measured gets managed, they said. And if we haven’t measured it, we need to measure it, and have concrete projections of the total investment and revenue in the (Big Cedar) Center, the actual performance against those projections, and the plan and strategy to sustain the performance. We need to proactively communicate exactly what the projected costs are, the timeline to breakeven, and the financial management strategy for this investment. We need to communicate how this investment will be used to promote the well-being of our residents. This plan was unanimously approved by the Council without debate. The Council also unanimously approved a request from Iowa Land and Building Company, an economic development subsidiary of Alliant Energy, to vacate a portion of the land to allow for the relocation of Old Bridge Road between the CRANDIC railroad crossing and 68th Street SW. The road portion is being relocated westward to allow ITC to build a new substation to support the proposed Google data center, according to Council documents. ITC paid $1,380 plus $69 in fees to acquire 0.65 acres of land for the relocation site on Old Bridge Road.As both measures move forward, Google has yet to formally confirm plans to build a data center project on the Big Cedar site. The project was first linked to Google in March, when officials said the global technology company was identified as the company proposing a monumental data center project in southwest Cedar Rapids. The project would be the largest economic development project in the city's history, with a minimum investment of $576 million. The City Council approved a development agreement for the project in February, and the Iowa Department of Economic Development approved a financial incentive package on March 22. Under the development agreement with the City of Cedar Rapids, Heaviside LLC is proposing to develop one or more data centers in the Big Cedar Industrial Center near the intersection of 76th Avenue and Edgewood Road SW, which would then be owned and operated by Google. Construction on the project is expected to begin within three years of the effective date of the final development agreement. The project will be the first development in Iowa's largest industrial site, the Big Cedar Industrial Center (1,391 acres), which also contains an 890-acre parcel designated as the state's only certified megasite. The project will also include the addition of at least 31 full-time jobs, all at or above Linn County's current premium wage rate of $24.20 per hour as of 2022.




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