DES MOINES - A state economic development official said Thursday that Iowa is competing with Nebraska to attract a $1.2 billion data center.
Debi Durham, director of the state Partnership for Economic Progress, said she can't name the company due to a confidentiality agreement. She said it's not Google, Microsoft or IBM, all of which already have operations in Iowa.
"From a public relations standpoint, this is a company a lot of people want," Durham said.
Durham says the company is considering two locations in Iowa and one in Nebraska. It's unclear what areas are being considered in Iowa, but Nebraska Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton said a rural area is being considered as the project site in her state.
"Technology is what is going to help spark that energy, what we need to grow rural Nebraska," Dubas said.
The company hopes to begin construction in May, Durham said. She expects the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board to hear the plan and consider incentives to attract the business at a March meeting.
Nebraska lawmakers on Thursday gave first-round approval to an incentive package aimed at helping land the project. It includes sales, property and personal tax breaks for companies that invest at least $300 million and create at least 30 new jobs.
"This bill is absolutely essential to building Nebraska and providing good-paying, high-tech jobs for the state," said Bellevue Sen. Abbie Cornett.
Iowa already has a law aimed at attracting high-tech projects, which includes a sales tax break on electricity used at those operations.