- Special Sections
- Public Notices
An $80 million data center planned for Simpsonville has advanced another step with the passing of a first reading of an ordinance authorizing revenue bonds for the project.
Eaton Corporation, a Fortune 500 company based in Cleveland, announced plans in early September to build the data center in the Kingbrook Commerce Park in Simpsonville. The company plans to build an identical facility in Jefferson County. Both centers will span 90,000 square feet and will employ about 20 full-time employees, said Steve Burger with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, a Louisville firm employed by Eaton Corporation to represent the company on its industrial revenue bond paperwork.
Burger added that the facility will not need that many employees, because it is a highly-automated data center.
“But the positions that will be available are highly specialized, and are high-paying jobs,” he said.
Eaton will have a payroll of $1.1 to 1.5 million and benefits worth 24 percent of its payroll.
“These will be lucrative positions, a data center manager, analysts and engineers,” Burger said.
Eaton’s data center in Simpsonville will be located on 20 acres in Kingbrook, with the entrance off U.S. 60.
Shelby County Judge Executive Rob Rothenburger said the coming of the data center is a real coup for Shelby County.
“It's a very big project, and we're very proud to have them come here,” he said. “It will be a real economic stimulus, not only for us, but also for Jefferson County. It's really going to put Shelby County on the map when it comes to IT and data communications.”
Rothenburger explained that issuing industrial revenue bonds is not a liability upon the county.
ee“It's an agreement signed by the county in which every year when the bond payment comes due, the Eaton Corporation will make that bond payment,” he said.
Rothenburger said the county had to make the purchase instead of the Eaton Corporation because industrial revenue bonds are for government issue only and not for corporations. ee“This keeps the building in the county's name, and it's a lease which, is essentially the bond payment, and after 20 years, then the building will be signed over to the Eaton Corporation because they will have then paid for the entire building.”
The Eaton Corporation—with sales of $13 billion last year—has 203 manufacturing sites in 30 countries involved in the automotive, trucking, electrical and fluid power industries.
According to company literature, Eaton wanted to build its two new data centers within 30 miles of each other and had evaluated locations in Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, North Carolina, New Mexico and South Carolina before deciding to build in Kentucky.
Rothenburger said it took a joint effort by many county officials to land the company.
Don Davis of Eaton Corporation said he doesn't have an official ground-breaking date yet but expects that construction will begin sometime next this spring.
He added that no diagrams are available of the facility yet.
“We haven't gotten to that stage yet; we're getting ready to hire architects,” he said.
The second reading is planned for Nov. 18 at the Shelby County Fiscal Court.