See where Google has bought 300 acres in Utah

Tech giant intends to open a data center in Eagle Mountain.

Eagle Mountain • Google has purchased 300 acres in Eagle Mountain, the rapidly growing city announced Monday, which could be the starting point for a new data center in Utah County.

Google’s arrival would add another international brand to Eagle Mountain’s tally of businesses.

Tyson Fresh Meats has opened a meat production facility here creating hundreds of jobs.

Eagle Mountain also is home to one of Facebook’s data centers, which began operating part of the facility this year. Though construction on the 1.5 million-square-foot facility has not been completed, 50 Facebook employees and about 100 contractors now work at the site, said the city’s economic development director, Aaron Sanborn.

“It’s an exciting day for us to be able to bring additional jobs, additional investment to Eagle Mountain City,” Sanborn said. “It will continue the process that we started years ago to make Eagle Mountain City one of the most desirable places in the state of Utah to do business.”

(Shelley K. Mesch | The Salt Lake Tribune) Eagle Mountain's economic development director, Aaron Sanborn, speaks at a news conference announcing Google's purchase of more than 300 acres in the city.

Google is known, Sanborn said, to hire hundreds of employees to run its data centers.

‘Building an economy now’

The tech giant acquired the acreage from a private buyer for an undisclosed sum. The land is located in the south of the city on Pony Express Parkway, across from Facebook’s data center.

Jobs are needed in ever-expanding Eagle Mountain.

The city’s population is booming, according to census data, more than doubling in the past 10 years to more than 43,000.

Eagle Mountain officials had decided years ago to court businesses needing data centers, Mayor Tom Westmoreland said. It is part of a plan to create a robust economy as it grows.

“Instead of waiting until we’re at 100,000 people,” Westmoreland said, “we’re building an economy now.”

Data centers are not known for creating several hundred jobs; they are primarily warehouses for computer servers. But data centers with these big names bring other benefits, County Commissioner Bill Lee said. Names such as Google, Facebook and Tyson lend the mushrooming city a sense of stability, which can attract other businesses, large and small.

“You don’t want to feel like you’re in a community that’s sliding into wasteland,” Lee said. Instead, Eagle Mountain “breeds a feeling of newness.”

Google in Eagle Mountain

This will hardly be Google’s and its sister companies’ first foray into Utah. Google Fiber, which builds high-speed internet infrastructure and provides internet services, already has offices in Salt Lake City and Provo.

Early last year, Google opened a data center in Salt Lake City as part of its efforts to expand its cloud services — including data storage and computing — while making them faster and more reliable. It is one of nearly two dozen such centers built by the company.

Completing a data center can take years, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, because of the time needed to buy land, build facilities and acquire and install equipment.

The data center is a done deal, Westmoreland said, unless Google decides to back out. A timeline for construction has not been set.

(Shelley K. Mesch | The Salt Lake Tribune) Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland announces Google's purchase of 300 acres in the city and intent to build a data center.

Several agencies, including the city and county governments, negotiated tax incentives to draw Google to the site.

Sanborn said Google and the businesses it could lure would be a net gain for the city, including a commitment from Google to invest at least $1.2 billion in the city over 30 years.

“Our goal,” he said, “is to provide the residents of Eagle Mountain a benefit with whatever business we bring.”

Editor’s note • This story has been updated to more fully explain Google’s Utah operations.