TECHNOLOGY HUB: Google Has More Plans For Iowa

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Google first made plans to come to Iowa in 2007. Since then it has set up shop in Council Bluffs, creating over 100 new jobs.

Friday, the internet giant will announce plans about its “continued investment in Iowa.”

The data center Google built in Council Bluffs five years ago was just the beginning.  Another Google building a couple of miles away is under construction and on Friday the tech company plans to announce the next phase of growth in Iowa.

“Google is only helping Iowa by expanding here in making Iowa a leader in the technology movement, they’re going to expand here that shows they view Iowa as a hospitable place,” says Governor Branstad’s Communications Director Tim Albrecht.

Google has already invested over $900 million in Iowa and created over 100 jobs.

Albrecht says any expansion by Google helps put Iowa on the map in the tech world.

“Anytime that you can get a major brand like Google that has so much respect and is on the cutting edge, it shows that Iowa is open for business and we facilitate a culture of growth, opportunity, and technology,” says Albrecht.

There are also whispers about a tech company moving to Altoona.

The proposed site would be located North of the Bass Pro Shop, across I-80.

City leaders say they don’t know which company it is.  They’re just excited to be considered as an option.

“We thought this will be a real bonus and a feather in our cap here in Altoona.  Over the years it will give us a considerable tax base and that’s what it’s all about economic development,” says Altoona City Mayor Skip Conkling.

Mayor Conkling says the council was alerted they’re in the running to land a new data center. 

The proposed $1.5 billion project would be spread over 200 acres.  The city council re-zoned the area to support a plan with three separate buildings.

Mayor Conkling says waiting to find out who it is and if they picked Altoona is the hard part.

“There is only so much my staff can do; there is only so much the State Department of Economic Development can do.  I think we’ve worked through all of those issues, and now it’s up to them,” says Mayor Conkling.

Mayor Conkling says he hopes more information about the unnamed company will be available in a few months.

As far as Google, officials plan to make their big announcement at the State Capitol Friday afternoon.

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