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Google announces Nebraska growth plan that includes new northwest Omaha data center

The tech titan also plans to add to its Papillion complex and donate to new Omaha library
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Posted at 4:00 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 17:02:19-04

Tech giant Google announced plans Thursday to invest at least $750 million more in Nebraska — in part by building its first Omaha data center.

The California-based company said it intends to add to its Papillion data center complex and give $100,000 to Omaha’s future main library project, which is expected to rise at 72nd and Dodge Streets.

Gov. Pete Ricketts, part of a contingent that welcomed Google officials to a local event Thursday, noted that this latest financial infusion, along with $600 million in 2019, will put the company’s investment into operations in the Husker state at more than $1 billion.

On top of that, Google said in a new report that since 2009 it has awarded more than $2 million in grants to Nebraska nonprofits and schools and nearly $2.4 million in free search advertising to area organizations.

“Thank you to Google for choosing to grow in Nebraska,” Ricketts said.

First for City of Omaha proper

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Papillion Mayor David Black also were among officials invited to the Papillion Google data center at 14706 Schram Road. Google officials are holding similar announcements in other areas of the country as they reveal a collective $9.5 billion investment this year in nationwide offices, data centers and some 12,000 new full-time jobs. 

In Douglas County’s Omaha, the new data center is to be built near State Street and Blair High Road.

Stothert said she was grateful for the infrastructure as well as the investment in nonprofit projects, technology and education. Few other details were immediately released.

In Sarpy County’s Papillion, Google said it plans to invest more in the $600 million data center that it said employs 120 people. Construction began three years ago on the 275-acre campus. Google said jobs include supplier roles, computer technicians, engineers, maintenance and security positions.

Said Black: “Papillion’s experience with Google has been such a positive experience and they have been an incredible community partner supporting our schools, working with community leaders and providing opportunities to grow a technology knowledge base.”

‘Silicon Prairie’

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said the Nebraska projects provide community anchors and help the company invest in those local communities. Google specializes in internet services and products.

“As we embrace more flexibility in how we work, we believe it’s more important than ever to invest in our campuses and that doing so will make for better products, a greater quality of life for our employees and stronger communities,” Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said in a statement.

Google also has a data center In nearby Council Bluffs, Iowa, and said it will continue to invest there this year, as well.

The latest plans will bring to three the number of major Google data centers in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area.

Rep. Don Bacon said in a press release that he was glad for Google’s investment in growing the “Silicon Prairie.”

“Investment in leading edge technology is what every community hopes to have in its arsenal of attributes for economic development and growth,” he said.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Cate Folsom for questions: info@nebraskaexaminer.com. Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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