Apple executive Mike Foulkes announced last week that the tech giant will invest an additional $1 billion in expanding its data center at the Reno Technology Park. The park sits in the Truckee River canyon to the easy of Sparks and is host to Apple’s existing data center along with cloud services company Rackspace.
“We’re excited to announce Apple will be increasing our investment by an additional $1 billion,” Foulkes said, stressing that it will bring “hundreds of jobs in operations and construction.”
Northern Nevada is becoming a familiar home to the booming data storage industry. Demands for iCloud storage has been on the rise and Apple seized the opportunity in business-friendly Reno. Moments after the expansion announcement, the Reno City Council was nearly unanimous in its approval to allow Apple to purchase land in downtown Reno instead of leasing it. The company will be eligible for a tax break resulting in a sales tax of 0.5%.
Just last month, Google purchased a generous parcel of land just across the street from Apple at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. The Silicon Valley-based company invested over $29 million in the transaction. TRIC is also home to Switch’s SuperNAP colocation data center which will be the largest data center facility in the world when it is completed.
Apple plans to purchase land in downtown Reno and build a $4 million warehouse in the tourism district. Typically, no signage is allowed on Apple’s “high security buildings”, but executive Foulkes said that they will be making an exception for the Reno warehouse.
“We think it will be the most beautiful building in that corridor,” Foulkes said.
The addition of a beautiful new building is expected to attract addition development in Apple’s chosen corner of downtown, the Tessera District. Developers of the district originally planned a $350 million mixed-use parcel that would include hotels, retail and office space. However, that vision morphed with the changing economy. Now the Tessera is aiming to be an “innovation district” targeted towards technology and research companies in search of property close to the University of Nevada.
Apple was among the first of the tech giants to express an interest in Reno and Mayor Hillary Schieve applauded their decision to expand to downtown. Their stake is believed to have helped spur the swift expansion of technology companies in the area.
The new data center expansion is expected to create 100 new permanent jobs and 300 additional construction jobs. Apple currently has 717 employees in the state of Nevada, but these are mostly from the five retail stores (one at the Reno Summit Mall).
Governor Brian Sandoval also praised the new announcement:
“Apple was the first major economic development success in Northern Nevada and helped place this region on the technology and innovation map," he said in a statement. "Apple’s decision to increase their local investment by $1 billion is a testament to our successful partnership and a demonstration that the best companies in the world are coming to Nevada, creating hundreds of jobs, investing in our communities and making our state their permanent home.”
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