back to article Somebody is working on a $600m data center in Lincoln, Nebraska, could rhyme with schmoogle

An unnamed company is developing a data center campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, and all signs point to the Chocolate Factory as the party responsible. The 590-acre plot of land just off of Highway 77, where the mystery business wants to plonk its bit barns, has just been rezoned from agriculture to industrial, appropriate for data …

  1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    It might be hard finding employees in Lincoln

    As of a couple years ago, it had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S., at around 2.2. or 2.5 percent. I haven't looked recently.

    The University of Nebraska is there, which is the state's flagship college. I have no idea if the university has a good computer science or computer engineering program though.

    All that being said, the cost of living is really low, and you are about 70 miles from Omaha, which actually has a good deal of culture and attractions for a mid-sized U.S. city.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: It might be hard finding employees in Lincoln

      They don't need many employees, and most midwestern universities turn out a lot of "surplus" graduates who go work elsewhere. Having a few more jobs in town will hold a few of those back, so filling those slots won't be difficult.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: It might be hard finding employees in Lincoln

      the cost of living is really low

      It's certainly low relative to the coasts, but it's no better, and in some cases worse, than much of the middle. Our CoL was somewhat higher in Lincoln than it is in the Lansing area. For one thing, you can get by without air conditioning in Lansing, but Lincoln is miserable in the summer. And in the winter. (Spring and fall aren't great either, unless you really like wind.)

      I have no idea if the university has a good computer science or computer engineering program though

      Ranked 75th by US News, FWIW. Tied with Colorado State, U New Mexico, Tennessee Knoxville, Tufts, Washington State, etc. Basically above the median, but not remarkable. (The USN report covers 188 schools, but there are a lot of ties due to the rubric they use. Also pretty much everyone takes issue with their methodology, but this is a highly subjective question anyway.)

      But do data centers have a lot of staff anyway? And Omaha is only an hour away, not to mention the teeming metropoles of Nebraska City, Beatrice, and the like. The data center's going to be on US 77, so easily accessible to commuters. Though a traffic jam in Lincoln, at least when I lived there, was generally "eh, I didn't make it through the traffic light on that cycle".

      One thing Lincoln does have going for it is decent food, if you avoid the big restaurants. It's a mission resettlement city, so there are lots of immigrants running hole-in-the-wall joints with authentic recipes. I have fond memories of a Salvadoran place, and a Ukranian sandwich shop, and some great Chinese places. Even some of the fast food chains are distinctly regional (ah, Runza).

  2. Claverhouse Silver badge

    'High-Paying Technical Jobs' sounds a trifle greasy as a Lure...

    "It's been a target for us mostly because of this high investment that these companies make, and also the high-paying technical jobs that go along with these," he added.

    Fair enough, and it's as good a use of a small field as anything, however:

    a/ Local taxes may not benefit as much as promised: some American companies [ not Google as far as I know ] demand legal bribes, kick-backs and tax write-offs to woo places into facilitating them as capitalists, as much as any 19th Century American travelling snake oil salesmen and flim-flammers; professions that thankfully utterly died out many years ago in politics at least.

    b/ The high-paying technical jobs --- which won't be many --- may not go to Lincolnites, Nebraskans, or even Americans in the end.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: 'High-Paying Technical Jobs'

      That line caught my eye as well. I would be surprised if there were that many highly-paid people working in data centres. There's the Head Admin, obviously, and one or two of his minions probably, but the rest of the technicians are there for more menial duties (move that rack to room 214) and then there's the cleaning staff and maybe an aircon technician.

      I found here a list of Data Center Technician salaries, it goes from $31k to $95k per year. So I guess there can be highly paid people there, but there are logically a lot more low-paid people, like I thought.

  3. john.jones.name

    power cost

    what matters is the price of power...

    google has a very small amount of actual data centers however they have a extensive network

  4. ps2os2

    The USDA is forcing 500 of its people to move there

    The USDA is forcing 500 of its people to move there. Actually, it is a ploy to make them quit as no one wants to live in Lincoln, Ne.

    This way the Trump administration can get rid of the scientists who know global warming.

    Sigh...

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: The USDA is forcing 500 of its people to move there

      no one wants to live in Lincoln, Ne

      There are worse places. Wayne, Nebraska, for example.

      Actually, while I don't want to live in Nebraska again, I think I'd take Lincoln over, oh, most of California. Or most of the Southeast. Or D.C. And Omaha is in many ways better than Lincoln (more diversity, more services, more cultural resources) and it's only an hour away, which in many parts of the country would constitute a short commute.

  5. dl1

    what's the point of keeping the ownership secret?

    1. Psmo Bronze badge
      Holmes

      I can see a few reasons:

      1. If the contractors know that they're working for big-$$-corp, rather than small-$$-corp they might put their quotes together differently?

      2. Direct competitor big-$$-corp might try and slow-down the project

      3. Hiding facilities from prying eyes and hands is a good thing; as we all know security is nearly impossible against someone with access to the bare metal.

      There's probably more...

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      When your business is hoarding information, you tend to hoard information.

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