Facebook Expanding – Elsewhere

Katy Grimes: The wildly popular social networking website Facebook is expanding, but not in California. With more than 500 million members, Facebook is adding a second data center, costing $450 million, but this time it is in North Carolina. The last data center built by Facebook at $188 million, is located in Oregon, and is still under construction.

Facebook, based in Palo Alto, CA, has grown exponentially over the last five years.

Why not add the jobs and growth to California? Facebook has reported that it’s because North Carolina has low energy costs and a mild climate.  Apparently weather extremes could damage the electronic equipment. And we know how extreme California’s weather is.

It sounds as if it’s the economic climate in Forest City, North Carolina, that is actually what the Facebook folks are talking about. And the climate in Oregon… also better on the bottom line. Facebook bought the land in Oregon for $3.2 million in January, and is displacing three acres of juniper trees with a new 147,000-square-foot data center, on a total of 124 acres.

North Carolina has been actively courting high tech firms to locate in the state. The new $450 million data center “offers much more than storage of information.   It also going to create jobs! Facebook is looking to hire 35 to 45 full-time employees to run and manage the facility smoothly.  Not to mention 250 jobs have been created for the 18-month construction of the center. Talk about a local economy stimulator,” reported Gabbaroo, a social networking news site.

North Carolina has low property taxes, and is a right-to-work state. Oregon does not have a state sales tax, and now has a few less juniper trees.

California does not have more Facebook employees. Apparently The Golden State can’t even use the mild weather as a reason to build or expand here.

NOV. 12, 2010

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