Developer Planning $800M Data Center Campus In El Paso
A data center megacampus could be coming to the digital infrastructure hinterland of El Paso, Texas.
A data center developer operating under the name Wurldwide LLC is looking to acquire 1,040 acres of city-owned land in the West Texas city, with plans to build an $800M data center campus on the site. The proposed project, first reported by the El Paso Times, emerged in filings with the El Paso City Council ahead of a series of votes scheduled in the coming weeks needed to greenlight the land sale.
The site — a vacant stretch of desert — is in the northwest section of El Paso, near the New Mexico border. Documents filed with city officials indicate the land is being priced at $8K per acre, bringing the total sale price to around $8.5M.
The tract was purchased by the city more than a decade ago with the intention that it would be redeveloped as an automotive manufacturing plant, the El Paso Times reports. But those plans never materialized.
Filings with city officials provided few details regarding the planned campus or who the end user might be. Wurldwide LLC is a shell company likely set up specifically to purchase the land — a common tactic for developers or large tech companies like Microsoft, Google and Meta to mask their involvement in proposed data center projects. The draft sale contract filed with city officials explicitly indicates data centers are planned for the property.
El Paso hasn't traditionally been a data center development hotspot, with just a handful of existing facilities. Dallas-Fort Worth has traditionally been the industry’s primary hub in Texas. Houston is also a large market, and a growing number of hyperscale developments are coming to cities like Austin and San Antonio.
But should a thousand-acre campus on the El Paso site come to fruition, it would continue an emerging trend of large hyperscale projects coming to locations that are far afield of the traditional data center map. In just the past two weeks, an anonymous developer advanced plans for an 892-acre campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, while Microsoft announced that it increased the scope of its planned campus in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, to more than 1,500 acres.
Typically, these are locations where the huge amounts of power these projects require are readily available. And, indeed, the El Paso site is located just 5 miles from a major power generating station operated by utility El Paso Electric.