Meta, parent company of Facebook, proposes Rosemount data center

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Meta Platforms Inc., was revealed last week to be the potential new operator of a data center in Rosemount.

Approval for the $700 million data center to be built on a 280-acre parcel of UMore Park near County Road 42 and Dakota County Technical College rests in the hands of the University’s Board of Regents, which is expected to vote Thursday afternoon.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is trying to buy a 280-acre parcel of UMore Park in Rosemount to build a data center. Approval for the sale will be decided Sept. 7, 2023 by the Board of Regents. (Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents)

Xcel Energy filed a petition last year to supply electricity to a data center for Amber Kestral LLC, a Roseville-based company with its principal place of business in Delaware. As of last week, the company “believes it is an appropriate time to reveal that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Meta Platforms,” per a filing submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

The data center, according to the filing submitted by Xcel Energy, would bring in roughly 1,000 construction jobs during the two- to five-year construction period and support at least 50 on-site jobs for the operation of the data center.

The potential development of the data center could create highly skilled jobs with competitive wages, spur economic development and provide a substantial increase to the city’s tax base, said Lee Stoffel, communications manager for the city, in an email.

The land is currently priced at $39.7 million, according to the agenda for Thursday’s meeting, and the buyer is Jimnist LLC, a Delaware company that is also a subsidiary of Meta. Jimnist committed nearly $1 million in earnest money toward the land purchase, per the agenda.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, would use the data center to store computing and networking equipment “for the purpose of collecting, storing, processing, distributing, or allowing access to large amounts of data,” per the filing.

UMore Park spans 4,772 acres in total and was bought by the federal government in 1942 for a gunpowder manufacturing facility. After WWII, the land was given to the University of Minnesota and used for a research site.

Since being approved for market-based development in 2015, sections of UMore Park have been earmarked for development, including Amber Fields, a 435-acre housing development to be comprised of 638 single-family homes, 740 apartments and 568 townhomes along County Road 42. Also along County Road 42 will be Rosemount’s new Life Time fitness center, which could open as early as 2025.

If the sale to Meta is approved, closing is expected to occur by the end of next January.

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