State and Local Officials Say It’s Worth the Cost to Bring Apple to Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Another Fortune 500 company will soon call the metro home.

“I’m excited to announce that Apple is making an initial investment of $1.3 billion in Waukee to build ouf newest data center,”  Apple, Inc. CEO Tim Cook said in a news conference at the State Capitol on Thursday.

Apple is expected to spend $1.375 billion to build the data centers.  A combination of state and local incentives for Apple totaling more than $207 million sealed the deal.  

At a press conference Thursday, along with Governor Reynolds, they laid out a 20-year project to develop 2,000 acres just west of Waukee.  Reynolds spoke to media after the event and she was fired up about the possibilities this brings.  “This puts Iowa on the world stage. This gives us an opportunity with a global company like Apple to say we are the place to be, this is where your business should locate,” said Gov. Reynolds.

Apple worked with Waukee and the state for almost 18 months to get the deal done.  The Iowa Economic Development Authority is offering $19.65 million in investment tax credits. Thursday morning, the Waukee City Council voted to provide a 20-year tax abatement for Apple that is estimated to be worth $188,239,943.

In addition to the data centers, Apple will also contribute $100 million to help Waukee build infrastructure and a new sports complex.

The project will create just 50 jobs working for Apple.  However officials say it will also create 500 construction jobs that will remain in the area for the next two decades.  That is where Waukee officials see the most immediate economic impact.  “That’s a huge impact. It will have a huge impact. They will all need housing. They’ll get wages, they will spend money in Waukee or the area. It has a lot of trickle down effect, to have that kind of project,” said Dan Dutcher with the City of Waukee. 

There is no official start date on construction yet but officials want to have both buildings up and running by 2021.