The Amazon data center dance

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
0910_ATS16

Boardman didn’t get a prison, it lost out on a Procter & Gamble plant to Utah and the $35 million Amazon data center at the Port of Morrow has been empty and half-finished for almost a year. It’s tough times for the small town. Yet now the port is preparing a site for another data center off Tower Road, six miles west of town that’s potentially an expansion of Amazon’s port site.

“We are partitioning a parcel for a potential data center project,” says Gary Neal, the port’s director. Neal, like almost everyone involved in working with data centers in Oregon, would not give any details about what company is involved. But Carla McLane, the director of planning, said this new proposed site would be a satellite of the Amazon data center at the port. The city owns the 45 acres in question and the port filed the application, which was for two parcels: one for immediate development and the other an expansion of that development.

So A plus B equals Amazon (doing business as Vadata), but don’t expect Amazon to confirm that, either. The company requested all questions be submitted via email, and then replied: “While we continually add resources to support the growing needs of our businesses, we don’t comment on specific activities in any of our data centers.”

Neal would not say when Amazon might resume construction on the data center at the port, which is to be built in six construction phases, with about 20 full-time jobs when it is complete. In an interview this past November with Tri-Cities TV station KEPR, he said the data center project was expected to be completed in late summer of this year.

Oops. Meanwhile, another Oregon data center is going great guns and being very public about it. Facebook announced in July that it would double the size of its Prineville data center now under construction. On a posting on the data center’s Facebook page, Tom Furlong, director of site operations, said: “To meet the needs of our growing business, we have decided to go ahead with the second phase of the project, which was an option we put in place when we broke ground earlier this year. The second phase should be finished by early 2012.”

Portland-based Hoffman Construction is contracted to build the Amazon data center. VP Bart Eberwein would not comment on it, but did say in general terms about the high-tech market: “Some projects that were stalled might be started up again. Things are starting to thaw but we don’t know how quickly.”

ROBIN DOUSSARD
 

More Articles

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


Read more...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

The Backstory: Portland Youth Builders

The Latest
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
blog002 1BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward  housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS