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Facebook commits to building $800M data center in DeKalb

DeKalb selected to host Facebook’s 16th data center, bringing hundreds of construction jobs to northern Illinois
The City of DeKalb will build Facebook's 16th data center.
The City of DeKalb will build Facebook's 16th data center.(Facebook)
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 7:27 AM CDT
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DEKALB, Ill. (WIFR) - Facebook is coming to DeKalb, and will build its 16th data center in the world on 505 acres in DeKalb’s south side, along Route 23 and Gurler Road across from the ChicagoWest Business Center.

The social media giant will invest $800 million into a 907,000-square-foot facility, the 12th to be built in the United States, which will be dubbed the Facebook DeKalb Data Center, according to a news release from the company.

The Facebook DeKalb Data Center will be among the most advanced, energy and water-efficient data center facilities in the world, supporting an estimated 100 operational jobs and hundreds of construction jobs.

“There are many variables that enter into the decision process for data center locations, and DeKalb provided many compelling reasons for Facebook to bring our newest data center to Illinois,” said Rachel Peterson, Vice President of Data Center Strategy for Facebook. “We’re so thankful to the City of DeKalb, the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and all of our community partners for their diligence and enthusiasm throughout this process. We are proud to join the DeKalb community and look forward to a strong relationship for years to come.”

The 907,000 square foot facility will be the 12th Facebook data center in the U.S. and will be supported by 100% renewable energy. It will also use 80% less water than the average data center and once completed, will be LEED Gold certified. As one of the largest data centers in Illinois, the Facebook DeKalb Data Center will accelerate opportunities for the community to attract skilled jobs, while increasing the northwest region’s competitive digital edge, according to the company.

“Today, we’re proud to celebrate that DeKalb will be Facebook’s newest home,” said Jerry Smith, Mayor of DeKalb. “It’s a boon to our community, and once online, this data center will be part of a network that connects people all over the world. We hope that the ripple effect of Facebook’s decision will be a catalyst for more companies to see all that DeKalb and this region have to offer.”

Facebook says DeKalb was chosen as the site for its newest data center site due to its access to renewable energy, a strong talent pool, higher education institutions, community partners and strong infrastructure.

Facebook is partnering with the City of DeKalb, the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District, and Krusinski Construction Company to help design, build and provide support for infrastructure in the area. This includes nearly three miles of water lines, one and a half miles of sewer extension and repaving local roads.

Hundreds of construction workers will work onsite for several years. Facebook will be hiring for data center jobs including technicians, engineers, construction management, facility managers, logistics professionals, and security personnel. Mortenson Construction was selected as the general contractor for the DeKalb Data Center. The site will employ an estimated 1,200 construction and trades at the project’s peak.

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