Sandoval: $1B Switch data center coming to Reno area

January 19, 2015

Jason Hidalgo, RGJ 10:52 a.m. PST January 16, 2015

switch2Las Vegas-based Switch plans to build a 3 million square-foot data center project in Northern Nevada, Gov. Brian Sandoval announced in his State of the State speech Thursday evening.

“Switch is scheduled to expand to Northern Nevada, bringing $1 billion of investment with it,” Sandoval said during his State of the State speech. The company will also invest an additional $1 billion to expand its existing operations in Las Vegas.

The project is considered a big win among economic development circles for a region that has focused on diversifying away from gaming, tourism and construction after the recession. Switch’s “supernap” project also includes the development of a fiber optic network that will connect Reno, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco — something the company calls a “superloop” and will dramatically increase the speed information can travel among the cities.

The announcement continues a string of major economic development victories for Northern Nevada, which includes landing Tesla Motors’ $5 billion gigafactory battery plant late last year and Apple’s $1 billion data center in 2012. And like those companies, Switch’s data center expansion will include a tax incentive deal, according to a state economic development official.

The data center campus will be built in phases on a 1,000-acre site — about the same acreage for Tesla Motors’ gigafactory site — at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center just east of Reno. Switch expects the overall project to take five to 10 years but its first facility should be open by the second quarter of 2016, said Adam Kramer, vice president of government and public affairs for the company.

Kramer did not give an employee headcount and average salary for the Northern Nevada site. Kramer did say that Switch employs 400 people at its Southern Nevada data center, which will expand from its current 2 million square feet to 3.5 million square feet. The Las Vegas operation also has an additional 5,000 people who work on the site for Switch’s clients.

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Tech blockbuster: Switch making $2B expansion, partnering with eBay

January 19, 2015

By Kyle Roerink lasvegassun.com
Published Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 | 6:40 p.m.

switchLas Vegas-based Switch unveiled plans to invest $2 billion in new infrastructure that will bridge Northern and Southern Nevada and bolster the state’s growing tech industry.

The company says it will create 5,000 new jobs, partner with eBay and build 4.5 million square feet of new facilities throughout the state to house servers that will store data for its clientele, a mix of Fortune 500 companies and government entities.

The news marks the state’s growing push to be a player in the tech market and a rare case in which Northern and Southern Nevada both benefit from a big-money, economic development deal.

Gov. Brian Sandoval delivered the news Thursday in front of elected officials, bureaucrats and media at his State of the State speech.

“This will make Nevada the most digitally connected state in the United States of America,” Sandoval said.

The announcement underlines the governor’s commitment to wooing high-profile companies with tax incentives as a way to grow Nevada’s economy. He’s used past State of the State speeches to tout the arrival of companies such as Apple and Urban Outfitters. But the Switch deal is the largest investment he’s publicized during a State of the State address.

For Switch, the expansion solidifies its role as the long-standing company willing to pin Las Vegas on the tech industry’s map. The company, led by CEO and founder Rob Roy, set roots in Las Vegas in 2000 and has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy ever since. The company operates two data center facilities in Las Vegas, providing security, power and cooling for thousands of server-stuffed racks owned by clients such as eBay, Zappos, Amazon and the U.S. government.

Its new Las Vegas facility will give the company an additional 1.5 million square feet of space in the region. Switch has not announced the location of the facility.

Switch’s expansion to Northern Nevada means the company will be neighbors with Tesla Motors, the high-tech car company building a battery factory at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, which is 17 miles east of Sparks in Storey County.

Switch will build a 3 million-square-foot campus at TRIC. Its first phase will be done by 2016 and its anchor tenant will be eBay, a company that’s worked with Switch for five years. Construction will begin immediately.

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John Solari: Tesla’s economic multiplier looks good

January 5, 2015

John Solari 11:02 p.m. PST December 21, 2014 Reno Gazette-Journal

teslaNow that much of the dust has settled over the Tesla deal that will bring the world’s largest battery plant to Northern Nevada, one big questions remains — will the economic projections surrounding Tesla actually pan out?

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development has done a great job parsing the economic projections behind the Tesla jobs figures. But there are some interesting macroeconomic trends that are making the Tesla deal look better by the day.

Here is a brief recap of the economic multiplier that was used to project Tesla’s impact on Northern Nevada. Tesla is projected to create 6,500 direct jobs, all of them by 2018. Another 7,814 indirect jobs are projected from suppliers, distributors and other associated industries. Then, 8,402 induced jobs are estimated from the increased demand of this new workforce spending within the community. That totals 22,715 jobs.

There have been many questions about these calculations, and it should be reiterated that no projections are perfect in a fast-changing economy. But here are three reasons why Tesla’s economic multiplier projections are looking even more promising today than when the Tesla deal was approved:

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