Facebook, Fort Worth ‘like’ each other, break ground on data center

photo: A. Lee Graham

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other dignitaries break ground on Facebook's data center project in north Fort Worth.

To borrow Facebook parlance, the social-networking giant “likes” Fort Worth.

Clasping shovels and wearing hard hats, company representatives joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and others for a Tuesday groundbreaking ceremony paving the way for a $750 million data center project promising jobs, tax revenue and more than a little prestige for Price’s hometown.

“To our friends at Facebook, howdy and welcome to Cowtown,” said Price, addressing elected officials, developers and the media within a tent on grounds on what will be the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company’s fifth data center on the northeast corner of Park Vista Boulevard and State Highway 170 in north Fort Worth.

Underscoring the importance of a project expected to generate up to 100 new jobs and the potential to surpass $1 billion in capital investment when the second of three project phases reaches completion was Abbott’s appearance.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

“When you have local officials like Betsy Price, like [Tarrant County] Judge [Glen] Whitley, with entrepreneurs like [Hillwood chairman and CEO] Ross Perot Jr., with legislators and leaders like what we have today and innovators like Facebook, you have a recipe that will help us build an even more robust and diverse economy in the state of Texas,” Abbott said.

Facebook plans to build up to three, 250,000-square-foot data centers at Hillwood’s AllianceTexas mixed-use development. Grading already is underway, with construction of the first data center expected to reach completion in June 2016. The new buildings reflect the company’s emphasis on green energy by using continuously recycled water and other environmentally efficient features.

Read more in the July 13 issue of Fort Worth Business.