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Google buys land for potential data center in Eagle Mountain, promises to spend $1.2 billion

Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland smiles during a press conference Monday at Eagle Mountain City Hall welcoming Google to the city for a potential future data center.

Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland smiles during a press conference Monday at Eagle Mountain City Hall welcoming Google to the city for a potential future data center. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Tech titan Google announced Monday that it has acquired 300 acres in Eagle Mountain for a potential data center.

The purchase is "a testament to the strength of our workforce and economy," Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland announced in a prepared statement. "We hope they decide to build here and look forward to partnering with them in the future."

The 52-square-mile city partnered with Utah County, Alpine School District, Unified Fire Service Area, the Central Utah Water Conservancy District and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah to lay the foundation for the company to consider developing the site.

The Utah County community is already home to a $1 billion data center for Facebook that opened in July and, when finished, will occupy 1.5 million square feet.

During a press conference Monday, Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee said negotiations with Google ended in a written promise that the company will spend $1.2 billion in the area in the next 30 years.

He noted that Eagle Mountain has experienced "amazing" rapid growth over the years, and the number of people moving into the city is "an example of a lot that's coming this direction."

Eagle Mountain economic development director Aaron Sanborn also predicted that the move will bring even more business and traffic to the area, something that they've seen already with Facebook, with the retail centers close to the new data center reporting having some of the busiest locations in the state. He added that Facebook also worked with the Eagle Mountain Chamber of Commerce to distribute $200,000 in local grants during the pandemic.

"It paves the way for future development," he said. "We really see Eagle Mountain as an extension of Silicon Slopes, essentially."

The city is already building around 100 new homes every month, Sanborn said, and the potential data center could bring even more jobs to the rapidly growing city to meet the needs of the highly educated workforce that has been moving into the area. He added that the increased traffic and local engagement from Google could also be good for the hundreds of small businesses already in the city.

Although Lee mentioned that the city was actively seeking to partner with companies to build data centers and Sanborn said his office was "actively engaged in finding business" rather than "resting on (their) laurels," the economic development director also mentioned that they're not just going after data centers but a wide range of businesses like Tyson Foods, which has a plant in Eagle Mountain.

"We understand that a wide range of economy is necessary so the city is not just dependent on one sector," he said.

Sanborn later added that the pandemic has shifted schedules, making many business and economic decisions unpredictable and that "the timeline is up to Google."

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