Data Center Rendering - Submitted

A site plan for a proposed 982,500-square-foot data center off Hartsville Pike was approved by the Gallatin Planning Commission on Monday, June 22. SUBMITTED

The unnamed company behind a proposed massive data center project in Gallatin, believed to be Facebook, has acquired more than 800 acres off Hartsville Pike adjacent to the city’s industrial park.

The privately-owned property, which is located between Roundtree Drive and Brights Lane, was purchased for $19.9 million last month by the company operating under the name Woolhawk LLC, according to Sumner County property data.

While the purchase is a major step forward, Gallatin Economic Development Agency Executive Director James Fenton said it “doesn’t necessarily mean” the project is official just yet.

“It’s truly just up to them at this point to move forward,” Fenton told the Gallatin News.

On Monday, the Gallatin Planning Commission approved a site plan for the project that includes a 982,500-square-foot data center with associated infrastructure along with a gate house, substation and construction office.

The vote came less than one week after the city council agreed to annex and rezone the property on June 16.

“This is going to be a great project and from what I’ve seen so far it has been very well put together,” Gallatin Planning Commissioner Matt Harris said Monday.

While city officials say they have not been told who the company is, multiple sources involved with the site selection search have previously told the Gallatin News that it is believed to be the social media giant Facebook.

An incentive package totaling an estimated $19.5 million in tax breaks for the project was previously approved by city leaders last month.

According to an economic impact analysis study completed by Younger Associates, the development would represent a $714.8 million capital investment by the company and would result in a local tax benefit of $62.7 million.

“When a Fortune 100 firm, particularly a Fortune 100 technology firm, invests in a city it sends a clear message that the city has the infrastructure, culture and ecosystem capable of supporting a company that size,” Fenton said. “It will put Gallatin on a much larger radar screen and allow us to continue to expand employment opportunities for our citizens.”

The company would hire approximately 140 people to work at the data center, according to the analysis. Of those, 40 would be direct jobs with an average annual salary of $80,000 while the other 100 would be subcontractors with an average salary of $50,000 a year.

Founded in 2004, Facebook has more than a dozen data centers either in operation or planned around the world including multiple ones across the United States, according to the company. The facilities contain servers that store digital information that support its various digital platforms such as photo and video sharing app Instagram and internet messaging service WhatsApp.

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