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Three Data Centers Going Up in Region

by Dean Brickey
East Oregonian, March 27, 2011

(Dean Brickey) Contractors work on a foundation for one of six modular structures at the site east of McNary for an Amazon data center. Property owner Vadata of Seattle has applied to annex the property to Umatilla.

The Umatilla Planning Commission has recommended the Boardman City Council annex about 10 acres on which Vadata Inc. is building a data center.

Zach Lunden, city planner, said commissioners also recommended rezoning the 9.79 acres from county heavy industrial to city heavy industrial. The property is at 82792 Beach Access Road, north of U.S. 730, east of McNary.

The City Council will conduct a public hearing April 5. If there's no appeal, Lunden said, and the council approves, the property would be annexed April 19.

The Umatilla County Planning Department issued a land-use permit March 10 to Mildren Design Group of Tigard. It filed plans on behalf of Seattle's Vadata for a third Amazon data center east of McNary.

"Vadata initially plans to construct six modular units," said Tamra Mabbott, Umatilla County planning director.

Plans show the structures will be about 20 feet wide and 108 feet long, situated side by side on the property, surrounded by a 7-foot-high fence.

Construction also is under way at the Port of Morrow for two Amazon data centers. Hoffman Construction Co. of Portland is working inside the concrete structure at 73575 Lewis & Clark Drive where Vadata erected the building in 2008.

Jason Haslam of Hoffman is heading a crew that is working on a $200,000 upgrade to one-fourth of the structure's interior.

"We're building a data center for Vadata," he said.

Morrow County also has issued a permit for Vadata's second Morrow County site. It's at the end of Rippee Road, east of Columbia River Processing, the Tillamook cheese factory. Its layout is identical to the McNary site, accommodating six side-by-side modular units.

"Construction has started, but I am not sure about date of occupancy," said Carla McLane, Morrow County planning director.

Mark Baracani, Vadata mechanical engineer and property manager for the projects in the region, described the projects to commissioners on Thursday, Lunden said.

"They're looking at the Boardman site and the Umatilla site as areas that are going to grow," he said. "They're probably going to be expanding these data centers over the years."

Lunden said Vadata is eager to invest in the region because vacant land is available and electricity is cheaper here.

"They really like these sites over here in Eastern Oregon," he said.

Dean Brickey
Three Data Centers Going Up in Region
East Oregonian, March 27, 2011

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