Facebook building data center in DeKalb

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ROCHELLE – As part of the company’s commitment to investing in America, Facebook announced it will be constructing a new $800 million data center in DeKalb that will bring more than 1,000 construction jobs and nearly 100 technology jobs to the community.

The center will be 907,000 square feet and is part of a $800 million investment in the community. Construction on the facility is expected to span two to three years and at its peak will employ approximately 1,200 construction and trade workers. 

Once completed, it will permanently employ nearly 100 people whose starting wages will be a minimum of $38.50 an hour. The new data center will also be supported by 100 percent renewable energy, use 80 percent less water than the average data center and will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certified. 

“This new state-of-the-art data center will advance the State of Illinois’s commitment to growing technology and renewable energy throughout the state,” acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Michael Negron wrote in a press release. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, more companies continue to make Illinois a destination. Based on the talent of our people, access to education and amenities and our continued investments to modernize shared infrastructure. We thank Facebook for the vote of confidence in DeKalb and the State of Illinois and for investments today that will create high-paying jobs for our communities tomorrow.”

The data center will be constructed along Route 23 and Gurler Road across from the ChicagoWest Business Center on the south side of DeKalb. The facility, which will be named the Facebook DeKalb Data Center, will be the company’s 16th data center in the world and its 12th in the United States.

Facebook is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, but the company employs people across the world and operates data centers in Iowa, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Oregon, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Nebraska, Alabama, Georgia, Denmark, Singapore, Ireland and Sweden. 

“There are many variables that enter into the decision process for data center locations and DeKalb provided many compelling reasons for Facebook to bring our newest data center to Illinois,” Facebook Vice President of Data Center Strategy Rachel Peterson said. “We’re so thankful to the City of DeKalb, the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and all of our community partners for their diligence and enthusiasm throughout this process. We are proud to join the DeKalb community and look forward to a strong relationship for years to come.”

Due to COVID-19 crowd restrictions, DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker joined Facebook for an announcement video in replacement of a traditional ground-breaking ceremony. The City of DeKalb is very happy to welcome the new data center to its community and local economy. For more information, follow the DeKalb Data Center page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DeKalbDataCenter. 

“Today, we’re proud to celebrate that DeKalb will be Facebook’s newest home,” Smith said. “It’s a boon to our community and once online, this data center will be a part of a network that connects people all over the world. We hope that the ripple effect of Facebook’s decision will be a catalyst for more companies to see all that DeKalb and this region have to offer.”