A Germany-based data company is hoping to build its “flagship location of North America” in Stanton County next year.
Representatives from Northern Data shared their plans for investing up to $20 million in the project during a hearing Monday night with the Stanton County Planning Commission, who approved 6-0 to recommend changing the zoning to light industry to accommodate the computing facility. It’s currently zoned transitional ag.
More than 50 people attended the two-hour meeting, which heard both support for and concerns about the 110,000 to 120,000-square foot facility. It would be located on 40 acres about 5 miles outside of Stanton near the NPPD substation. Northern Data also has a facility in Georgia, although representatives repeatedly said the proposed operation in Stanton County would be “one-of-a-kind.”
Northern Data describes itself as a global B2B technology company developing, using and selling solutions on vertically integrated high-performance computing infrastructure. Monte Stahl, managing director of Northern Data, North America West, explained that the company works “business to business” and is not a consumer-facing company. The facility is not for data processing or data storage. Instead, he called it cloud-based computing.
Stahl said there are no examples in the United States that compares with the innovation that is being proposed in Stanton County.
“There’s nothing quite like this,” he said. “This is innovative and will be our flagship here in the U.S."
The first concern voiced was about the rezoning was that the land is in the Norfolk Public School district, not the Stanton school district, which means funds would go to Madison County students. Among other concerns voiced were about water runoff, power use, increased traffic and potential use for the land or building once rezoned, should the project fall through or if the building is sold later.
In the motion to recommend rezoning the land, planning commissioners recommended the land be zoned backed agriculture if the project is negated. They also requested Stanton County Commissioners address traffic and road concerns, as well as potential runoff that could impact nearby landowners.
For the full story, please pick up this week's Stanton Register on stands Tuesday afternoon.