After weeks of speculation, Apple on Wednesday confirmed its plans to build a server farm facility in North Carolina. Gov. Bev Perdue officially welcomed Apple to North Carolina after signing a bill giving the company a state tax credit worth $46 million.
"We're looking forward to building a new data center in North Carolina, and we appreciate the efforts of Gov. Perdue and state lawmakers who helped make it possible," Apple representative Susan Lundgren told CNET. "Our teams are getting started right away to acquire a site for the data center, and we plan to begin construction soon."
Changes in the tax laws were not without opponents. Last week when the House voted in favor of the tax credit by a vote of 80-34, House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Stam was clearly upset with the incentives.
"They're playing us," Stam said. "And they're going to keep playing us as long as you agree to be played. They'll either come or they won't come, but whether they come I can virtually assure you it will not depend upon whether you pass this bill."
North Carolina said the Apple server farm will have about 50 full-time employees. One of the regulations that Apple has to follow is that the average wage in the facility exceed the wage standard in the county where it's located.
Overall, when all job types (like maintenance) are factored in, the state expects the Apple facility to create up to 250 jobs. The Department of Commerce estimates that with a $1 billion investment, more than 3,000 jobs could be created in the regional economy.
"North Carolina continues to be a prime location for growing and expanding global technology companies," said Perdue in a prepared release. "We welcome Apple to North Carolina and look forward to working with the company as it begins providing a significant economic boost to local communities and the state."
The site has not been finalized yet, but Catawba and Cleveland counties are said to be potential sites for the facility.