Gov. Dave Heineman identified Fidelity Investments as the company behind the Project Photon data center project in Papillion.
Construction on the data center is expected to begin immediately. Upon completion in 2014, it is expected to employ about 30 to 35 associates and cost at least $200 million, which will allow it to qualify for tax incentives.
The data center will be built to the Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, a certification program designed to ensure buildings are environmentally friendly.
Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services. The Boston-based provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial services administers $3.6 billion in assets and manages $1.58 billion in assets for more than 20 million people and institutions.
The company will receive incentives under a new program under the Nebraska Advantage Act. Legislative Bill 1118 created a new “Tier 2” incentive provision, which lawmakers amended in anticipation of Project Photon to apply to investments for data centers of at least $200 million that generate at least 30 jobs.
A brochure from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development states that companies like Fidelity who use the incentive are eligible for a refund of all sales taxes for capital purchases at the project, a sliding scale wage credit and a 10 percent investment credit. The company will also receive personal property tax exemption on computer systems for the data center.
The company cited the state's low power rates and central location as key factors for locating in Nebraska and Sarpy County in addition to the incentives.
The Sarpy County Board agreed last month to spend $2.9 million to support the data center by paving a one-mile stretch of 114th Street at Cornhusker Road and a quarter-mile stretch of Cornhusker Road.
Fidelity will finance all of the costs of extending the city's water and sewer system to the site. In a June report to the City Council, Papillion estimated the valuation of the building at $80 million. The city agreed to collect $500,000 for building permits, plan review, capital facility and sewer connection fees.
The value of the water main extension was estimated to be $1.4 million, with the sewer construction costs estimated at $980,000, according to an agreement between the city and the developer.
Several officials offered their thoughts about the announcement in press releases.
• David Black, mayor of Papillion:
“This project and the associated infrastructure are significant to Papillion's growth. Not only are we adding a good business and industry, but the water and sewer extensions can help accelerate the natural growth in the western part of our jurisdiction.
“I'm proud of the decisions made by our City Council and the work done by our staff. We worked hard to be a true partner with many parties on this project. Our professional staff in Planning, Building and Engineering really went the extra mile. Our City Attorney also deserves a lot of credit for helping move the project forward.”
• Steve Scullen, president of corporate operations for Fidelity Investments:
“Fidelity is pleased to be in Nebraska.
“The state is an extremely attractive market for data center expansion and we'd like to thank Governor Heineman and other state, regional and local officials for being so cooperative and such great partners throughout this process. We believe the site we've chosen will provide us with the flexibility to build to our specifications in a location that will accommodate our needs now and in the future.”
• Dave Heineman, governor of Nebraska:
“To have Fidelity Investments, an outstanding company, utilize the Nebraska Advantage incentive helps us set the bar for other quality companies weighing location considerations for future data center projects.
“I am especially pleased that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, in partnership with Sarpy County, the City of Papillion, Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership and Omaha Public Power District, was able to meet Fidelity's needs.”
• David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce:
“The Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership welcomes Fidelity Investments to our area's ever-expanding list of national corporations. The Partnership worked with the company on multiple site options including the one selected.
Our team collaborated with the State of Nebraska on the incentive package and modification of the Nebraska Advantage business incentive program. OPPD's nationally-competitive rate structure and recognized quality of service were crucial in our combined efforts to attract this project.”
• Rusty Hike, chairman of Sarpy County Board of Commissioners:
“The county has a long-standing history of support for economic development projects, like Fidelity Investments, through the construction of new roads. The most recent is a $2.9 million road paving project on 114th Street from Lincoln to Centennial Road and Cornhusker Road east and west of 114th Street.
“Fidelity Investments joins several other data centers recently attracted to Sarpy County including Yahoo!, Cabela's and the two CoSentry locations at the Southroads Technology Center and Midlands Data Center.”
Keep checking papilliontimes.com for more on this developing story. Pick up the Oct. 17 edition for complete coverage.