Plans for a new data center near Springfield are humming along.
The Sarpy County Board signed a development agreement Tuesday for the $200 million project by the Travelers Cos., the insurance group behind the venture known as Project Oasis. The board also approved $760,000 in infrastructure spending to support the site.
“Travelers appreciates Nebraska's warm welcome and support as we prepare to build our new data center in the greater Omaha region,” Madelyn Lankton, the company's executive vice president and chief information officer, said in a statement.
The 190,000-square-foot data center will sit on the southwestern corner of 144th Street and Schram Road, about three miles north of Springfield.
Travelers would be the second company to qualify for a new tier of state tax breaks for companies that invest $200 million or more in a data center and employ at least 30 people.
Infrastructure costs related to the project — roads, water, electricity and sewer — are expected to run about $4.5 million. County taxpayers will cover about $1.6 million of that, plus easement costs, County Administrator Mark Wayne said. Travelers will tap a $750,000 infrastructure grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
The County Board also approved:
• A $76,100 contract with Olsson Associates for designing a plan to pave Schram Road from 144th Street to 150th Street.
• A $684,200 contract with E&A Consulting Group to extend sewer lines a mile and half to the site.
• An updated agreement with the Cities of Omaha and Gretna to expand the sewer service area to include the project site.
The data center is estimated to pay county property taxes of about $180,000 annually.
With that revenue — plus $459,000 in sewer connection fees collected when the project's 42 acres are platted — the county estimates its expenses will be paid back within four to five years, depending on how quickly the Schram Road corridor develops.
“For me, this project becomes a cornerstone for future economic development in this part of Sarpy County,” said board member Don Kelly of Papillion.
Gov. Dave Heineman also complemented the deal, saying it shows that Travelers and other companies are learning about Nebraska's business-friendly climate, its quality workforce and its quality of life.
Mark Norman, senior director of business attraction for the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, said the group has been working on the deal since December.
And with this deal done, they're still on the hunt: Next week, Norman said, chamber representatives will travel to San Francisco to court other companies that might be interested in building a data center in the midwest.
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