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Altoona OKs expanding $1.5B data center project

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:25 a.m. CST

ALTOONA (AP) — A proposed $1.5 billion data center in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona has expanded to 1.4 million square feet, under a revised site plan approved by city officials.

A planning and zoning commission unanimously approved a new plan last week by a still-unnamed company. It calls for expanding building plans by nearly 300,000 square feet, the Des Moines Register reported Monday.

The new site plan — under the codename Catapult Data Center — has three data center buildings that would be each 466,500 square feet, for a total of 1.4 million square feet.

“We’re talking about a building that is about three times bigger than anything else in town,” said Altoona City Planner Chad Quick.

The newspaper reported the original site plan proposed one building be 350,000 square feet, and two buildings be 380,000 square feet.

“It’s a pretty big change,” Quick said, and added that he expects the buildings to go up in construction phases.

The proposed economic development plan began more than a year ago. Last June, Altoona’s city council rezoned land to support a site plan with three buildings.