Meta expands plans for proposed large-scale Mesa data center
Article originally posted on Phoenix Business Journal
Even though the first phase is still under construction, Meta Platforms Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), the parent company of Facebook, announced Wednesday that it is expanding the scope of its data center project in Mesa.
In the summer of 2021 — under the pseudonym Redale LLC — Meta acquired 396 acres in Mesa on the southeast corner of Elliot and Ellsworth Roads for $123.2 million where it said it would build a $800 million data center. The first phase, which includes two buildings, is already under construction.
The first building of the project is expected to be delivered in 2023 and the entire project will be finished in 2026, according to David Williams, a community development manager for Meta.
“Mesa is our home and we are happy to be here,” Williams said. “We’ll be building here for years to come.”
Meta estimates that the project will require 1,500 to 2,000 construction workers a day during its peak to build the center over the next few years. DPR Construction is the general contractor for the project. Because of the longevity and stability of the project, DPR’s project executive Joe Yeargan, said he’s confident the project will be able to attract enough skilled craft workers.
Meta plans on employing about 200 people at the site once the data centers are operational.
The company requires large data centers to keep its global social media and advertising platforms in operation.
Valley now a data center hot spot
The Phoenix area has been a landing spot for large data centers. The Meta project is on the same road where Google is building a data center and where Apple already has one. A recent report showed that the Valley is one of the leading markets in the country for data center construction.
Data centers have been criticized in the past for the large amounts of electricity and water they use and for not employing very many people based off the size of real estate they consume. Meta is trying to curtail that criticism by investing in water conservation programs throughout the state of Arizona and by building large solar farms in Pinal County with Salt River Project.
In an effort to intertwine itself with the Mesa community, Meta also announced Wednesday a $50,000 grant to the Mesa College Promise program, which provides support for Mesa residents graduating from local high schools to attend Mesa Community College.
Mesa officials have embraced Meta and believe the addition of this company to the city’s business roster will make Mesa an attractive landing place for other businesses.
“Companies will locate here because Meta built here,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles.