Amazon subsidiary pays $36M for potential data center site east of Atlanta

Explore$2B data center to join Atlanta’s fast-growing online storage industry

Data centers, which are large warehouses filled with computer equipment that stores online information, have emerged as one of the hottest uses for large tracts of land across metro Atlanta, with several multi-billion dollar campuses in the development pipeline. The sector has experienced explosive growth in recent years, fueled by corporate investment in artificial intelligence and increased demand for more storage space. Data centers typically employ only a few dozen workers.

Amazon Web Services is among the largest players in the data center industry, spending more than $18.3 billion from 2011 to 2022 on facility construction in the U.S., according to an internal economic impact study published last year. Amazon does not currently operate its own data storage farm in Georgia, but it does have partnerships with existing data centers, including Qualified Technology Services’ Atlanta location.

The massive Covington site along Ga. 142 near I-20 was earmarked for industrial development more than 18 months before Amazon’s subsidiary entered the picture and closed on its land acquisition Dec. 22.Preliminary state paperwork was filed during the summer of 2022 for Covington Industrial Park, a 4-million-square-foot logistics park that would have been larger than two Lenox Square malls. The proposal aimed to tap into the manufacturing and industrial development boom taking place along the interstate east of Atlanta. Marc Beechuk, the planning director for Covington, told the AJC at the time the logistics park would nearly double the industrial space in Newton County’s seat.

The land is roughly 10 miles away from Stanton Springs, an industrial park anchored by a Meta data center and a 1.1-million-square-foot plasma treatment center by Takeda. It’s also the future location of Rivian’s planned $5 billion electric vehicle factory, the state’s second largest economic development project. Cox Enterprises, which owns the AJC, owns about a 4% stake in Rivian.

ExploreAnnexation rejected for huge warehouse complex near Rivian plant

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