NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) Google said it plans to build a $600 million data center in an Ohio city, part of $13 billion in planned investments this year.
Last December, Google affiliate Montauk Innovations said it was considering New Albany for a data center project in the New Albany International Business Park.
New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee said the city is excited about Google's investment in central Ohio.
Google's project is the latest in what has been a string of data centers for central Ohio.
Google's investment in central Ohio is a part of its plan to invest more than $13 billion this year on new and expanded data centers and offices across the United States.
CEO Sundar Pichai announced the news in a blog post Feb. 13, emphasizing the company's growth outside its Mountain View, Calif., home and across the Midwest and South.
"2019 marks the second year in a row we'll be growing faster outside of the [San Francisco] Bay Area than in it," he wrote.
Google will build new data centers in Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia. Pichai estimated the construction of the new centers will employ 10,000 workers.
It makes good political sense for Google to highlight its expansions outside coastal cities, said CFRA Research analyst Scott Kessler. U.S. legislators have paid increasing attention to Google and other big tech companies in the past year and are considering passing privacy laws to regulate the companies' reach. Investing more widely across the United States could help it curry favor with federal politicians and officials, he said.
Google is focused on expanding its cloud-computing business, a market where it faces stiff competition from larger rivals Amazon and Microsoft.
The company will have a physical presence in 24 states by the end of the year. It currently has locations in 21 states, and is expanding into Nevada, Ohio and Nebraska.
Its expansion is likely also a way to attract new employees, Kessler said. Google will add an office in Georgia and expand its offices in several cities including in Seattle and Chicago.
Google said it spent more than $9 billion on similar expansions across the country last year.
Google did not give an exact number of employees it expects to hire as a result of the 2019 expansions but said it would be "tens of thousands" of full-time workers.
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