Amazon Web Services plans to invest $400 million to build a 170,000-square-foot data center on 100 acres in the eastern portion of the New Albany International Business Park, according to a fact sheet provided Nov. 5 by New Albany officials.
The site will be on the east side of Harrison Road and north of Innovation Campus Way.
The project would create 35 jobs, with a minimum annual payroll of $2,450,000, according to the report.
Amazon already has a data-center facility in New Albany at 2570 Beech Road NW.
According to the city’s fact sheet, that facility employs 25 people and has an annual payroll of $2 million.
Amazon initially invested $300 million in a 150,000-square-foot facility on 68 acres. The company is building a second 152,000-square-foot facility and has received a permit to build a third 157,000-square-foot facility on that site, as well. Each phase of the project has an estimated investment value of $300 million.
Council on Nov. 5 approved a resolution with two incentives for the project: a Community Reinvestment Area agreement with Amazon and a tax-increment-financing agreement with MBJ Holdings, an affiliate of the New Albany Co.
According to the Licking County auditor’s website, MBJ Holdings owns multiple parcels in the area described in the legislative report as the location for the new data center. Aaron Underhill, a legal representative for the New Albany Co., also confirmed the company still owns the property.
MBJ Holdings’ incentive, a TIF, is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public-infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency. It locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting resulting incremental revenue to designated uses, such as funding necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.
Revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from the entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, including school districts, parks districts, libraries and fire departments.
Likewise, a CRA is an economic-development tool that provides real property-tax exemptions for property owners who renovate or construct new buildings in a designated area, according to city spokesman Scott McAfee.
According to the legislative report, the CRA agreement requires Amazon to generate a minimum of $250,000 annually in all applicable local revenue sources for New Albany beginning in 2022 and $500,000 in year 2024.
The city gave Amazon a 15-year, 100% real property-tax abatement for the project, according to the legislative report.
According to the fact sheet, the Johnstown-Monroe and Licking Heights school districts would receive a combined $125,000 from the project during the tax-abatement period.
McAfee said the $125,000 mostly would be derived from property taxes but also would include a portion of income-tax revenue from the city for the duration of the 15-year abatement.
He also said the city couldn’t comment beyond what was included in the fact sheet, though it was not because of a confidentiality agreement.
“I’m not aware of a nondisclosure agreement with the company,” McAfee said. “Out of respect to the public, we worked with the company to put together a fact sheet describing the project’s details and community benefit. This fact sheet will serve as our statement about the project.”
Amazon spokeswoman Lauren Lynch said the company has a practice against commenting on its “future road map.”