Apple officially announced a data center project for Waukee, Iowa, just a couple of days after the project was first rumored. The company included a kicker, though, with a pledge of “up to” US$100 million to a Public Improvement Fund. The City of Waukee will manage the fund for, “parks, libraries and recreational spaces, as well as infrastructure needs.”

Apple rendering of the planned data center in Waukee, Iowa

Apple rendering of the planned data center in Waukee, Iowa

Apple Pledges Money for Local Development

That’s a significant investment in local development from Apple. It will help offset whatever tax breaks local governments gave Apple to get the data center. Like other large companies, Apple routinely receives tax refunds, abatements, and other government incentives when looking for new project sites. Iowa has so far refused to disclose the incentives offered to Apple.

$100 million, however, will go far in helping Waukee develop the kind of infrastructure Apple needs to attract quality workers. It’s the first of its kind investment I’ve heard of from Apple in a local government.

Apple Jobs in Iowa

Apple said 550 construction and operations jobs will be created by the project, which the company estimated at $1.3 billion. The facility will be used, “to better serve North American users of iMessage, Siri, the App Store and other Apple services.” It will be supplied by 100% renewable energy.

Another Apple rendering for the project

Another Apple rendering for the project

“At Apple, we’re always looking at ways to deliver even better experiences for our customers.” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Apple is responsible for 2 million jobs in all 50 states and we’re proud today’s investment will add to the more than 10,000 jobs we already support across Iowa, providing even more economic opportunity for the community.”

Google, Facebook, and Microsoft all have data centers in the area.

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“Apple said 550 construction and operations jobs will be created”
500 construction jobs over a year. 50 operations jobs after that.