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Auburn City Council approves tax abatements for $120 million 'superhighway of information'
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Auburn City Council approves tax abatements for $120 million 'superhighway of information'

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Construction has begun on a new $120 million data center in Auburn with hopes to provide communities across the state with enhanced access to high-speed internet, according to a statement from the city of Auburn.

The Auburn City Council unanimously approved a resolution providing tax abatements for AUBix, the company responsible for the $120 million data center being built off West Samford Avenue.

The resolution will provide abatements for non-educational ad valorem taxes and sales and use taxes for the company, which is expected to bring in a capital investment of about $127 million and over the next two years create 20 jobs expected to pay no less than $40,000 a year, according to the resolution.

Taxes designed to help fund the East Alabama Medical Center, Auburn City Schools and children’s homes in Lee County will not be abated as a part of the resolution, according to the city’s council’s agenda packet.

Mayor Ron Anders described the new data center as a “super highway of information” for the whole area and across several states. According to city estimates, it will create a combined total estimated 10-year tax impact of over $4.7 million to the city.

AUBix, LLC was co-founded by Andrew Albrecht, an Auburn businessman. The new 40,000-square-foot facility is designed to bring a “technological edge” to the area as well as to help underserved communities throughout the state with technology, according to a release from the city.

In a previous interview with the Opelika-Auburn News, Albrecht said the creation of a data center in the middle of Auburn would create better and faster wireless connectivity for businesses and individuals by providing a local spot for all of the service providers to have their information run through.

“A minimum of seven fiber optic networks run through Auburn, and none of them have a place to stop and meet, like a railroad station,” Albrecht said. “A data center, or internet exchange, is where networks come out of the ground and literally sit in parity next to each other, connect their fiber optics and exchange traffic. ... We’re like a railroad, but we’re digital. We’re digital infrastructure.”

The new facility is expected to offer 22,000 square feet of data center space, more than 3 megawatts of power capacity across two data halls with power and cooling, as well as customer office space, conference rooms and tenant equipment storage.

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