Middle Fayette draws closer to landing $1 billion data center and technology campus

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Overview of proposed technology campus annexation request. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Overview of proposed technology campus annexation request. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.

A 412-acre parcel in the center of Fayette County is on its way to becoming part of an expanding Fayetteville with plans to locate the first phase of a computer data center on the table.

The Fayetteville City Council will consider annexation of the four parcels this coming Thursday evening at City Hall, the next step in what has been discussed since March 2018. Discussions never materialized into an actual sale, much less construction — but the annexation request is the farthest such talk has gotten so far. Look here and here for earlier stories in The Citizen. The annexation request, however, is being brought by the Fayette County Development Authority, so maybe this time the project will make to the ground-breaking phase.

The total site is bordered by Ga. Highway 54, Flat Creek Trail and Tyrone Road and is currently undeveloped acreage formerly used for farming. Here’s what the Fayetteville report says about it:

“The proposed development is a data center/technology campus. The City’s Comprehensive Plan has identified this area of Fayetteville as suitable for business park. The development will also create jobs, which is one of the goals identified in the comprehensive plan. Additionally, adjacent to the proposed development is Trilith Studios to the east, which aligns well with the proposed project.

“… Additionally, the proposed project is projected to generate 100 jobs, which will not create traffic congestion. … There are no proposed residential housing units.

As for economic development, the city report says this:

“The total of capital expenditure over the life of the project is projected to surpass $1 billion, which will significantly increase tax revenue for the City of Fayetteville. The current parcels generate $1,387 in property tax annually. This will increase to over $200,000 annually after the first phase of development.

“The project will generate over 100 direct new jobs with average salaries of $100,000 or higher. The limited amount of jobs is projected to have little impact on the school system.”

So, what is a data center? “At its simplest, a data center is a physical facility that organizations use to house their critical applications and data. A data center’s design is based on a network of computing and storage resources that enable the delivery of shared applications and data. The key components of a data center design include routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application-delivery controllers,” according to Cisco Systems, Inc., one of the world’s largest information technology companies.

In its simplest local embodiment, it’s a large number of computer servers and cooling fans housed in a warehouse-like structure that sucks a lot of electricity to keep everything powered.

Map of area to be annexed into Fayetteville. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Map of area to be annexed into Fayetteville. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I share the concern of power usage but only in as much I don’t know if our infrastructure can presently handle it without negative effects to F-ville and PTC. If infrastructure upgrades are needed, me thinks that we all will pay for it.

    Also, upon my most recent visit to Ashburn, VA last year I was astonished at the sheer number of data centers that have been built there and are still being built. Ashburn has become data center central for the entire DC metro area and beyond. The confluence of major fiber trunks in that town is the biggest draw but the town is starting to look like warehouse city.

    We must be thoughtful of what we want. Good jobs are a good thing but with our proximity to ATL and the available land, the same could happen here. It all starts with the first center…be aware. Data centers up and down 54 and adjoining roads is a real possibility.

    • Why is energy use evil? Other than an open field with grass and trees, everything is going to use energy? How do you know where the energy will come from? The could be planning a solar facility to power the data center? Don’t make ignorant statement without knowing the facts. C’mon man…