Google plans $600 mil data center in N.C.

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Search engine giant Google Inc. plans to spend $600 million to build a data center in North Carolina, state officials and the company said Friday.

The so-called "server farm" will eventually employ 210 people in a region hit hard in recent years by layoffs in the furniture and textile industries.

"This company will provide hundreds of good-paying, knowledge-based jobs that North Carolina's citizens want," Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement. "It will help reinvigorate an area hard hit by the loss of furniture and textile jobs with 21st century opportunities."

The state will give the company $4.8 million as part of a total incentives package that could reach more than $100 million.

"The data center were planning to build ... will help support continued growth in our online services," said Lloyd Taylor, director of global operations for Mountain View, Calif.-based Google.

Google plans to build the center in Lenoir, a city of 60,000 about 60 miles northwest of Charlotte. The average annual salary at the data center is expected to be $48,300, about $20,000 more than the average salary in Caldwell County.

The recruitment of Google is the second high-tech score for the state's economic developers since 2004, when both the state and local governments gave Dell Inc. $280 million worth of incentives to build a computer plant in Winston-Salem. The Dell plant opened in October 2005.
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