ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Latest on Facebook's decision to build a new data center in New Mexico (all times local):
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Facebook officials say they're thrilled to have found a home in New Mexico for their $250 million data center.
The social media giant announced Wednesday that it would build the center in Los Lunas, a village just south of Albuquerque. Construction is expected to start next month.
The company's vice president for infrastructure, Tom Furlong, says everything was as advertised when it came to New Mexico, from the community partners and talent pool to the renewable energy that will power the facility.
Furlong said in a statement that aside from the initial investment, the company is looking forward to future phases of development.
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Gov. Susana Martinez had first met with Facebook executives more than a year ago in California, putting the state on their radar as a possible location for doing business. Martinez says work to make New Mexico more competitive in recent years is paying off.
The head of economic development for the New Mexico village where Facebook plans to build a data center says it marks a big win for the community, New Mexico and the Southwest.
Ralph Mims says the $250 million project will bring much needed construction jobs and high-paying tech jobs to Los Lunas, just south of Albuquerque. He says there's no quantifying the ripple effects that could come from the data center.
New Mexico and Utah were in the running for the location. While the project enjoyed broad political support in New Mexico, local leaders in Utah pushed back against a tax-incentive plan they saw as too generous.
Los Lunas agreed to give up all property taxes for 30 years in exchange for annual payments from Facebook that start at $50,000 and top out at less than $500,000.
The complex economic development agreement also involves tax breaks on billions of dollars in computer equipment over time.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich says Facebook is choosing New Mexico for a new data center over Utah after questions arose about a tax-break deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Wednesday's announcement that the social media giant will build in Los Lunas, south of Albuquerque comes after a roller-coaster contest between the two states to attract the facility.
While the project has enjoyed broad political support in New Mexico, local leaders in Utah pushed back against a tax-incentive plan they saw as too generous.
Utah supporters of the deal said it would bring a high-tech cachet that could draw other companies, but critics said the $240 million cost was too high.
In New Mexico, Los Lunas agreed to give up all property taxes for 30 years in exchange for annual payments starting at $50,000 and topping out at under $500,000.
Whitehurst reported from Salt Lake City, Utah.