STATUS UPDATE: Facebook Breaks Secret in Iowa

Facebook is coming to Altoona. Tuesday morning, the city of Altoona and the state of Iowa approved separate financial packages to lure the social media giant to central Iowa.

The Altoona city council kept its meeting short. Only four minutes were needed for the council to vote to approve the incentives for Facebook.

During negotiations with the city, Facebook used the name “Siculus” in an effort to keep its involvement quiet.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s board approved an incentive package from the state Tuesday morning as well. The state says Facebook is making a minimum investment of $299.5 million. The IEDA’s board approved $18 million in tax benefits in exchange for the creation of at least 31 new jobs with a wage above $23.12 per hour.

“Today’s announcement further solidifies Iowa’s position as a destination for tech companies – from major data center operations like Facebook’s to the innovative start-ups we continue to see popping up around our state,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “Our productive workforce and our overall cost of doing business help us to win great projects like this.”

The 476,000-square foot data center will be built in an area north of Bass Pro Shops, on the other side of I-80. It was rezoned in 2012 for the project, but at the time the city says it didn’t know the name of the company interested in opening in Altoona.

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