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Mesa City Council OKs deal for $1B Google data center

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – The Mesa City Council has given internet powerhouse Google a thumbs-up on a development agreement to build a large data center within five years.

The council approved the agreement during Monday night’s meeting.

The campus would be built on 187 acres at Elliot and Sossaman roads.

“Mesa would be pleased to welcome a global leader in innovation like Google to our community. They would be a great match for the Elliot Road Technology Corridor.” Mayor John Giles said in a statement.

City staff recommended approval of the agreement of the $1 billion, three-phase, 750,000-square-foot Red Hawk project.

“We’re excited,” William Jabjiniak, the city’s economic development director, said at a council study session last week.

He said the sides had been engaged in deep negotiations for the past year.

The East Valley city already is home to Apple, AT&T and Boeing, which are all in top top 50 of Fortune magazine’s ratings.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to add potentially a fourth Fortune 50 company here in Mesa,” Jabjiniak said last week.

The parcel, owned by the longtime Gilbert-area ranching and dairy Morrison family, was rezoned in April to allow for use by a data center.

(Screenshot)

“Coming from a farming family myself, it’s hard to let land go,” Vice Mayor Mark Freeman said.

“But they strategically developed their land for business … I appreciate their willingness to sell.”

Councilman Jeremy Whitaker said at the study session, “This is huge for the city of Mesa.”

Salary projections of full-time employees was a minimum of $65,000. Jobs at the site were expected to includes systems administrators, technicians, facilities works and support, some from outside sources.

Under the proposed 25-year government property lease excise tax agreement, Google would get millions of dollars in land tax breaks.

The city would be the deed holder for those years and get back more than $30 million of indirect taxes.

Google could take up to 10 years to finish construction.

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