Fidelity Investments has named Papillion, Nebraska, as the site for its new $200 million data center, which it plans to have constructed and operating by 2014.

Papillion, a suburb of Omaha, is located in Sarpy County, on the eastern end of the state and had a 2010 population of 18,894.

Construction on the new Fidelity project is to begin immediately and Fidelity is planning to build it to qualify for certification as a “green” site under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Once complete, the state-of-the-art data center will employ 30 to 35 people.

In announcing the new data center’s location, Fidelity praised Nebraska’s low power rates, central U.S. location and array of available incentives. In a statement, Steve Scullen, Fidelity’s president of corporate operations, said the new site allows the company flexibility to build to its specifications and to accommodate growth in the future.

Fidelity had looked at several sites around the country and also had considered renovating some of its existing data centers before selecting the new Omaha-area site.

In selecting the site, Fidelity becomes the first company to qualify for a new package of tax benefits and other financial incentives specifically aimed at attracting the construction of large data center projects to the state. The new incentive package was passed by the Nebraska state legislature in this year’s session.

As part of that incentive package, Fidelity would have to employ at least 30 people and have invested $200 million into the facility within the next seven years. If those requirements are met, Fidelity would be eligible for a 10-year personal property tax exemption for the project, in addition to the benefits currently available for other such projects, according to the Nebraska Economic Development Department. Such other benefits would include sales, property and real estate tax rebates and reductions if the company meets the Nebraska requirements.

In addition, Papillion agreed to waive $260,000 in sewer connection fees for Fidelity, and Sarpy County agreed to pick up the $2.9 million cost of paving the access roads to the data center site.

Locally, the area had been abuzz about the mystery company behind what was being called “Project Photon” before the Fidelity news. Nebraska, which is already home to Yahoo!’s data center and famed investor Warren Buffet, has pushed hard to win recent data center projects in a competitive market. Nebraska is also in the hunt for another mystery development, the $1 billion “Project Edge”, which is rumored to be the new data center for Facebook.



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