updated 03:15 pm EDT, Mon June 1, 2009
Catawba, NC data center
It is "all but a done deal" that Apple will build its North Carolina server farm in Catawba County, state officials are said to have confessed. The word has allegedly been passed on to the backers of a site in Cleveland County, typically thought of as Catawba's only major competition. Both counties are some of the poorest in the state, making them suitable for the conditions of a corporate welfare bill directed at Apple. After some delay, the bill is expected to be given a final vote Monday night.
Within Catawba, officials are known to be marketing several sites near Route 321 as possible server farms, all of which would have access to respectable fiber and power connections. Of special interest may be the Catawba Data Park, a 183-acre piece of land in Maiden which would allow for multiple buildings inside a single campus. Another tract would offer as much as 120MW of power, allowing for a dense stacking of servers.
The government of Cleveland County is being told to "run through the tape" however, according to the Shelby Star, in case Catawba's bid fails. The winner should gain somewhat under 100 jobs, and the most direct benefit of $1 billion in investments over the course of nine years. In exchange, the state as a whole will have to sacrifice some theoretical tax income.