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

On the Brink

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.


Read more...

Live, Work, Play: Amen Teter

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Catching up with Amen Teter, Portland-based global director of action sports for Octagon Olympics & Action sports talent agency.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...

Convention Wisdom

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

Grassroots movement pursues carbon bills

News
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
eventthumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A partnership of a grassroots environmental organization and a youth group is striving to build community and business support for carbon price legislation.


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