Seattle-based Amazon.com is considering a big expansion in the Buckeye State, revealing plans to spend us much as $1.1 billion on a new data center in Dublin, Ohio — just outside of Columbus.
Reports in The Columbus Dispatch and The Seattle Times in the past few weeks detail plans to build the facility on 68 acres at Dublin’s West Innovation District, with the City Council set to vote on the proposal on Sept. 22nd. The facility would employ 120 people, with government incentives, including free land, totaling some $81 million, according to the Dispatch.
Other sites also are in play for the data center, but Ohio officials are confident that they can land the online retailer.
The Columbus area also is seeing the benefits of another Seattle online retailer. Zulily is growing fast in nearby Lockbourne, with a massive fulfillment center that employs hundreds of workers. Zulily executives hosted an analyst day from the facility last week, and appear bullish on Ohio as an area of growth for the company.
Data centers typically don’t employ that many people, so the economic benefits of securing Amazon’s new data center are uncertain. The company is operating under a subsidiary known as Vadata in its efforts to secure the location in Ohio, with the state telling the Dispatch last month that the proposed project includes new data centers “to provide cloud computing services.”
Amazon Web Services is growing quickly, and the company will need additional cloud computing horsepower as it brings more digital services to the forefront. It currently operates data centers in Oregon, Northern Virginia, and Northern California, with large customers such as Airbnb, Flipboard, Netflix and others utilizing AWS.
In addition to helping other businesses host applications in the cloud, the company is expanding its own cloud-based offerings, whether streaming music and video services or the video game streaming service Twitch, which Amazon.com just acquired for $970 million in cash.