Official: Manufacturing companies, data centers looking at Omaha-area sites

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:00 am

Two large manufacturing companies and three data centers are looking at sites in the Omaha metro area, a Sarpy County official says.

Toby Churchill, executive director of the Sarpy County Economic Development Corp., said the two manufacturing companies are conducting a metrowide search and Sarpy County land is included in the search. He said he could not identify potential locations.

He identified Southroads Mall as one of about seven locations metrowide that could house one of three data centers that are looking for space in excess of 100,000 square feet.

Churchill told the Sarpy County Board this month that a food-processing operation code-named Operation Chew is looking to build a 150,000-square-foot plant on 50 to 80 acres, while a manufacturer of a powder supplement, code-named Project Muscle, is looking for 80 to 120 acres with rail service.

Churchill said a second meeting with the search team for Operation Chew is expected after Jan. 1.

He said Project Muscle would bring high investment and a large number of jobs to Sarpy County, but Council Bluffs is also competing.

The powder manufacturing facility would use large amounts of water, Churchill said, and both the Sarpy County and Council Bluffs sites would encounter significant cost providing it. The Sarpy site would face a $3 million water extension bill, he said.

Land south of Offutt Air Force Base has long been promoted as one of the few undeveloped areas remaining in the metro area that offers rail service. The area also lacks a water supply.

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