Google has unveiled plans for a new data center in Red Oak, marking a significant $600 million investment aimed at meeting the growing digital needs of consumers and businesses utilizing its cloud, workspace, maps services, and applications.
In a recent announcement, the company revealed its intention to allocate an initial $330 million for the Texas project this year, with the total cost of the data center expected to reach at least $600 million over the course of several years. Upon completion, the facility will employ 30 full-time staff members. During its construction phase, it will generate approximately 1,200 new jobs within the construction sector. Lee McCleary, the Director of Economic Development for Red Oak, shared in an email to The Dallas Morning News that the data center, located at 156 N. Austin Blvd., will span about 285,000 square feet—roughly equivalent to the size of five football fields—and is projected to take around two years to finish. McCleary emphasized the significance of Google's capital investment of over $300 million in Red Oak, highlighting the creation of well-paying jobs and the validation of Red Oak as an attractive hub for technology-based industries. This establishment will be Google's second site in Texas, complementing an existing data center in Midlothian. The Midlothian project, completed in 2019, covered a vast 375-acre area and was followed by an acquisition of an additional 165 acres for a second facility in 2020. Cris Turner, Google's Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Knowledge and Information Products, underscored the essential role of Google's data centers in supporting global digital services and AI advancements. Turner conveyed the company's commitment to Texas and its intent to further expand and thrive in the state, emphasizing the favorable ecosystem and collaborative partners. According to a report from Cushman & Wakefield, D-FW, home to more than 2.2 million square feet of data center projects in its development pipeline by the end of 2022, ranks among the nation's leading data center construction markets. Notable data center campuses are situated in southern Dallas County and Ellis County. In addition to Google's initiatives, Compass Datacenters LLC is erecting a data center on over 200 acres near Interstate 35E. Meanwhile, Facebook has established a sprawling $1.5 billion data center campus spanning 2.6 million square feet in North Fort Worth. Representative Jake Ellzey, R-Amarillo, who attended the announcement, highlighted the importance of aligning with workforce and regulatory environments conducive to business growth. The positive workforce and regulatory landscape in Texas make it an appealing destination for businesses like Google. McCleary expounded on Red Oak's attractiveness for companies like Google, citing business-friendly policies, affordable land, robust utilities, ample fiber optic connectivity, a skilled labor pool, and close proximity to various educational institutions for workforce training. In addition to its infrastructure investments, Google is actively contributing to the community. The company has pledged a $150,000 grant to the Red Oak School District. Furthermore, in collaboration with the University of Texas and Texas State University systems, Google offers career certificates through skill development training courses. These online certification programs focus on cultivating skills in fields such as data analytics, digital marketing, e-commerce, IT support, and other technical domains. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, emphasized the timing of Google's investment in a digitally evolving world. He acknowledged the ever-increasing reliance on technology and stressed the need for a capable workforce to address the challenges and opportunities that technology brings. Senator Cornyn anticipates the investment to contribute to the development of a prominent technology hub in North Texas, signaling a favorable business environment.