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Facebook Plans $2B Data Center Expansion in Oregon

Facebook is planning a significant expansion of a data center facility in central Oregon.

The facility, located in Prineville, is already among Facebook’s largest data center sites. The social media giant plans to add two new buildings totaling 900K SF, extending a steady streak of growth since the first building was built in 2010. Once complete, the 11-building campus will total nearly 4.6M SF and represent an investment of $2B, according to the Portland Business Journal. 

Facebook's Prineville data center

Oregon has emerged as a hot market for data centers, in part because of its relatively cheap power and attractive tax profile for data center businesses. In addition to having no sales tax, Oregon allows cities to offer unlimited property tax breaks for large capital projects, which has incentivized data center construction in Prineville, a small town about three hours away from Portland.

Portland and Hillsboro have also seen a flurry of data center development in recent quarters, CBRE noted in a report from September 2020.

The Portland/Hillsboro area recorded 2.6 MW of net absorption in the first half of 2020, and it had 18 MW under construction in addition to 63.4 MW of existing inventory as of last September. The area boasts the second-highest data center growth rate in North America, according to CBRE.

“The Portland/Hillsboro data center market is expanding thanks to its cost advantages and connectivity. Hillsboro has no state, city and county sales taxes; a compelling property tax abatement program; and it offers continued reductions in utility costs through new renewable/green energy offerings. The region’s built-up utility infrastructure also provides high reliability and lower seismic risk than other West Coast markets,” said Pat Lynch, senior managing director of Data Center Solutions at  CBRE.

Secondary data center markets are poised for continued growth in 2021, driven in part by strong connectivity and fiber access in addition to generous tax abatements.