Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, will invest $800 million in a new data center in growing Temple in central Texas.
The 900,000 square foot project will create 100 jobs, the company announced Thursday. Construction is expected to begin this spring on a 393-acre site off NW HK Dodgen Loop and Industrial Boulevard. At the peak of construction, the project will employ 1,250 workers.
Meta expects the data center to be operational in 2024.
The data center is intended to help support all of Meta’s applications and services, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Meta Quest. The company will also use the hub to accommodate the growing number of shared photos and videos.
Katie Comer, regional community development manager at Meta, said Temple offers established infrastructure, a strong talent pool and supportive community partners.
“Community partners have been essential to this project, and we look forward to calling Temple home for many years to come,” Comer said.
Meta also operates a data center in North Fort Worth that opened in 2017 and has become a $1.5 billion investment. The massive facility totals over 2.6 million square feet on 150 acres.
The social media giant operates data centers powered by 100% renewable energy. In Texas, Meta has invested in over 700 megawatts of wind and solar power.
Data center construction has been one of the state’s strengths, with Dallas-Fort Worth ranking third among U.S. markets, according to real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield. Its year-end report says it expects rental rates to rise in early 2022 due to global supply chain constraints.
Meta will receive a partial property tax abatement for 10 years from the city and Temple Economic Development Corp.
Mayor Tim Davis said the city of 82,000 is known for its business-friendly environment. And the surrounding area serves as an employment center for a region of 450,000 inhabitants.
“Meta’s decision to establish a presence here at Temple is a significant victory for our community and proof that our process is working,” Davis said. “We are excited about the opportunities this project will create for our residents and look forward to being part of Meta’s continued growth.”
Meta’s investment comes even though Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the tech giant in February, alleging it illegally used facial recognition technology to collect biometric data from Texans without their informed consent.