Visible progress has been made on the exterior of the Vadata data center in New Albany, but city officials still are saying little about the project.

Visible progress has been made on the exterior of the Vadata data center in New Albany, but city officials still are saying little about the project.

Vadata, a subsidiary of online retail giant Amazon, bought 67.3 acres at 8900 Smith's Mill Road NW in July 2015, but company officials have revealed few details about the site or its intended use.

The company purchased the land from MBJ Holdings, an affiliate of the New Albany Co., a private development organization founded in part by L Brands chairman and CEO Leslie Wexner.

A month later, Vadata had "a permit to build the shell" of a building, according to the city. New Albany previously provided a 15-year, 100 percent property-tax abatement for Vadata after the company's plans to build the facility in Orange Township fell through. Similar deals were in place for sites in Hilliard and Dublin.

New Albany officials estimated Vadata would invest $300 million in the site and create 25 jobs, which would generate a $2 million annual payroll.

In a Jan. 21 meeting with ThisWeek editorial staff members, New Albany's community-development director, Jennifer Chrysler, said work on the site had gone smoother and quicker than anticipated. Chrysler said the project initially was estimated to be six months behind schedule, but since had surpassed progress at the Hilliard and Dublin sites.

However, New Albany officials declined to comment for this story.

City spokesman Scott McAfee alluded to Vadata's confidentiality agreements during the Jan. 21 meeting.

"It's not like us to not share information," he said. "That was a project that was tough for us."

He cited cyber attacks and other circumstances related to Amazon projects as reasons for the company requesting limited amounts of public information.

Meanwhile, Hilliard economic-development director David Meeks said his city's site is nearing completion after being the first of the three to show construction progress. Crews were observed beginning work at the site last March.

"The building is substantially completed," he said. "I would guess most of the work going on right now is on the interior."

Meeks said Hilliard officials have "no complaints" about working with Amazon, Vadata and central Ohio economic-development organization Columbus 2020.

"They've been nothing but great to work with," he said.

Meeks told ThisWeek last year he had communicated with Vadata primarily through Columbus 2020.