The Travelers Companies, Inc. held a ribbon cutting ceremony to formally open its new data center in Sarpy County, NE.
Governor Pete Ricketts was joined at the ribbon cutting by Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, along with Sarpy County Board Chairman Brenda Carlisle and Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David G. Brown.
The 183,000-square-foot Tier III 4MW Travelers data center joins a growing data center cluster in Sarpy County that includes Yahoo!, Fidelity, Cabela’s and two facilities for Cosentry.
Gov. Ricketts said in a release that Nebraska continues to grow opportunities in technology-based customer service while creating new jobs, and added that this type of development can serve as inspiration for other growth industries in the state.
The Travelers project was supported by a broad partnership of state, regional and local organizations. The Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership put forward a number of sites in the metropolitan area that were suitable for data centers, including the one in Sarpy County Power Park that was ultimately selected by the company.
Discussion about the project began in late 2012, and when officials from Travelers came for their first site visit in Jan 2013, nearly 25 state and local economic development and utility officials were involved in providing assistance and information about the proposed sites and other needs.
After selecting the site, the company was assisted by the Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation with the land options and eventual purchase of the 140-acre tract. The company built the data center on a 41-acre parcel, with the rest available for future expansions.
Omaha Public Power District bought a five-acre parcel from Travelers and has built a new substation on the site capable of handling the power needs not just for the Travelers data center, but also other potential data centers that might be located in the area.
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development pitched in with state incentives in the form of site, building and development funds, and customized job training funds. Sarpy County is supporting the project through road construction and paving, sewer extensions and other infrastructure improvements around the data center site.
Madelyn Lankton, EVP and Chief Information Officer for Travelers, said in the release that they could not have chosen a better location to build this new data center, and added that they truly value the strong partnerships that have developed throughout this project.
The Greater Omaha Chamber’s Brown likewise noted that partnering with Travelers over the last couple of years has been a privilege. Brown added that the project highlights the advantages the region offers, including low cost power, a strong fiber network, competitive tax incentives, and a skilled workforce, topped off with the added benefit of infrastructure improvements.