Amazon acquires 400 acres near new Intel development in
rotten 11 days ago [-]
I live next to where this is going in (walking distance). We already have a huge Google Data Center, One of the Ohio-east region availability zones. A Meta data center and office park, and a dbt data center under construction all within a short radius. We also have a vitamin factory being built, we have a large Amazon Fulfillment center, an R&D lab for a perfume company, and an R&D lab for plastics packaging. All of this has been built over the last 3 or 4 years.

This particular spot has electricity and water available from multiple service providers. It has one of the lowest seismic activity ratings in the US. We don't get hurricanes and very rarely get tornados. It is very flat and has great access to highways. We are within a 12 hour drive of something like 60% of the population of the US.

There are huge tax incentives to support Intel's Ohio One, which may have 6-10 fabs built within the next few years. The Intel project is paying for highway development the power and sewer extensions and more.

Spin off development is adding a slew of hotels, big box stores and other development all happening at the same time.

The local schools are rated very highly, and we are only a short drive from The Ohio State University, which is one of the largest universities in the country.

Columbus has a vibrant startup scene with several unicorns in the last couple of years.

They are taking our quiet country town on the outskirts of Columbus, of about 15K people to 100K people over the course of the next 7 years. They are taking many square miles of farmland to make this happen. They are bulldozing over everyone and anything that gets in their way. The developers are making money hand-over-fist. In particular Les Wexner's development company "The New Albany Company". Wexner is one of the key players behind all of this development.

I live on land that goes back in my wife's family to a Revolutionary war grant. I'm pretty sure we will be pushed out within the next year or two as well. The only thing that has stopped them so far is that we have most of the land set as conservation land, which is hard to undo and just pave over.

That doesn't stop the bulldozers from pushing things around next door to us and right up to our property line.

They cut down huge swaths of forest with 100, 150+ year old trees. They got permission to wipe out acres and acres of wetlands without having to worry about mitigation by donating the money to some wildlife fund instead.

We have a pair of displaced bald eagles that have been spotted flying around the area now trying to find a new home.

zengid 11 days ago [-]
That went from an exciting story about a growing tech hub to an intimate tale of the wake of destruction taking place. Sorry to hear about the disruption this development is bringing. I do feel like this is exciting for the central US, having grown up in the mid-west. I hope you and your family don't get bulldozed over!
zahma 11 days ago [-]
Thanks for posting this. I’m sorry to hear about what all this “progress” might cost you personally in addition to the habitats around you. I don’t believe we have the right to cut down trees older than we are. It appears I’m in the minority in this country.

Something similar happened to my partner’s grandmother’s place in rural France in a matter of years.

My partner grew up in her grandparent’s backyard that was loaded with a garden, fields, and animals. They had no neighbors within sight. Slowly all around them new commercial developments cropped up. The equivalent of a Lowe’s or Super Target, different bricks and mortar, and the like. The nail in the coffin was the McDonald’s adjacent to their property, probably the same field where my spouse used to roll in the dirt. Now the house has been converted to an optician storefront. The area was re-zoned with no appreciation for the inhabitants. I suppose it had to go somewhere, but why does the march of “progress” have the familiar feeling of tragedy?

Her grandparents were immigrants of the Spanish Civil War, and this property epitomized their grit and triumph. To see it today, it is haunted and sad. It is unimaginable that a family ever lived there.

I wish I could offer you hope, but the only solace in this tragedy of so-called progress is the conservation easement. Plant some trees for me, and good luck to you.

snordgren 11 days ago [-]
Of course we need to cut down trees that are older than we are. The alternative to development is stagnation and poverty. It's medieval Europe where the social status of your parents decided your social status and that of your children.

Change is always hard, but the alternative is so much worse. There is no terra nullius that we can develop without anyone being bothered by it. Every house ever built does not have to be a museum to those who once lived there. We have too much of that thinking in Europe, where cultural conservation takes precedence over economic development, and as a consequence the economic wellbeing of the population suffers. It's great for tourists, but you can't live and do business in a city-sized museum.

zahma 10 days ago [-]
Careful what you wish for. You might end up with endless strip malls, cookie-cutter buildings, and concrete cathedrals instead of beautiful forests and neighborhoods with a soul.
dopylitty 11 days ago [-]
Sorry to hear that. Same thing happened in Loudoun county VA (us-east-1). It used to be a beautiful rural county with farmland or forests but last I was there is was absolutely covered with hulking concrete data centers with giant fences around them.

I can’t say it’s worth it. The AWS console should show how many acres of forest were plowed under for every EMR cluster that gets launched.

rayiner 11 days ago [-]
I grew up one county over in Fairfax. It was a double whammy. The Loudoun tech jobs attracted all these knowledge workers that flipped the state blue and set it on a path of decline (just like California, another formerly prosperous red state whose best days are behind it).
gonzo41 11 days ago [-]
Wiping out that wetland may be a big mistake. Wetlands flood. I hope they had a climate change updated 1:100 year flood study done. Oh well.

I would suggest you consider making it painfull for them and trying to extract the highest price from them as you can. If it really is as inevitable as you say.

All the best.

klyrs 11 days ago [-]
1:100 is nothing these days. The initial alarm bells over "global warming" didn't have access to the computational resources we have today and focused on average global temperature. We're seeing 1:1000 events downright frequently these days because the planet hasn't seen conditions like this in a very long time and our statistical models have a hundred years of lag built-in. I do hope they get their engineering right; fabs are full of nasty chemistry and in a flood plain it will travel quite far as the water rises.

Isn't Ohio tornado country?

ericmay 11 days ago [-]
Central Ohio isn’t. Every year we pretty much just get “tornado formed somewhere” and maybe a trail or or building gets knocked down. Not to say something can’t happen but it’s not very often compared to the plains and south.
klyrs 11 days ago [-]
Thanks, I'm a west coast gal, the mountains protect us from such concerns and too much horizon makes me nervous...
ericmay 11 days ago [-]
I’m a skier and if we weren’t tied to here b/c of family I think we’d be out west somewhere. With boring climate comes stability. We don’t really have any fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, or atmospheric rivers, or extreme heat/cold. But it’s so boring too. :(

I guess I take that back I mean it can get very hot or cold but it’s not sustained.

hnburnsy 11 days ago [-]
Columbus, Ohio, a nice place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit.
maxfurman 11 days ago [-]
This comment was a wild ride. Progress has its price, I suppose.
redonkulus 11 days ago [-]
Real life Yellowstone but instead of ski resorts and casino's, its data centers.
notatoad 11 days ago [-]
and instead of mountains and rivers and breathtaking scenery, it's featureless flat land.
rhacker 11 days ago [-]
I imagine almost everywhere in the world where something went from rural to metropolis there are stories like this, but the winners write the ending of the story, backed by the legions of people that profit with them.
taylodl 10 days ago [-]
You're going to move - the taxes are going to eat you alive. I live on the NW side of Columbus and have many friends living in your area. It's now starting to dawn on them the taxes are going to drive them out.

It's interesting to hear about your wife's family history. My wife's family are the founders of that area - there's a plaque in town telling the history. They used to own large amounts of land in New Albany and the Westerville area. Lost it all during the Great Depression.

Things change.

On the bright side, AWS services are going to be super fast now!

lr1970 10 days ago [-]
> They got permission to wipe out acres and acres of wetlands without having to worry about mitigation by donating the money to some wildlife fund instead.

How is it anything but manifestation of the blatant corruption? And who run's this "wildlife fund" -- governor's nephew perhaps?

taylodl 10 days ago [-]
Wouldn't be surprised. Ohio has become a solid red state and its Republican majority state government is corrupt to the core.
rotten 11 days ago [-]
Oh, I think they already started construction on a second AWS ohio-east availability zone in this development area. The new acquisition raises the possibility of a third one here.
jgwil2 11 days ago [-]
It would be nice if they could do some of this development in a sustainable way, like encouraging walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods with reasonable density, but unfortunately based on the language in your comment (highways, big box stores) it sounds like yet another car-dependent, sprawling suburb.
thatfrenchguy 11 days ago [-]
America does not know how to build those kind of neighborhoods, and most non-immigrant Americans have been living in car dependent suburbs for 3 generations now, good luck making them understand the (amazing) benefits and (slightly annoying, although lower if you live in newer housing) costs of living in a city. A lot of them can't even imagine it.
chromatin 11 days ago [-]
Well, many of the existing small towns around (and being engulfed by) Columbus Ohio predate Columbus; some date to early 1800s like Worthington (1803), and are quite walkable.

It's the new development described in the OP that's building car-dependent sprawling exurbs.

notatoad 11 days ago [-]
datacentres are not a good fit for walkable, mixed-use development. they don't really serve people, they don't add value to a neighbourhood for the residents. the best way to make walkable mixed-use neighbourhoods with reasonable density is to shove the uses that don't fit within that style out to the edge of the city, which seems to be exactly what they're doing here.
dsfyu404ed 11 days ago [-]
If you do manage to hang onto your land then what? The development will drive up property values to the moon and bring in all the people and problems that are included with that. You won't want to live in what your town is becoming.
11 days ago [-]
rconti 11 days ago [-]
Is this Delaware?
rotten 11 days ago [-]
No, New Albany-Johnstown. Delaware is 40 - 45 minute drive.
AnimalMuppet 11 days ago [-]
Digression: Why do people out there make such a big deal about "The Ohio State University"? Is it just pretentiousness? Is it that "there's only one state university in Ohio, and we're it"? (Which seems like an odd point of pride.) Or what?
ericmay 11 days ago [-]
It’s just for fun and marketing basically. It’s used sarcastically or emphatically with friends but still in a joking spirit. Like someone might say let’s go grab a burger from Northstar and someone will jokingly say “you mean THE Northstar?” And it’s just silly humor.
myko 11 days ago [-]
It's the official name of the university, whereas most would just be "X State University", OSU happens to have "The" in its official name, that's all:


However, the "The" was actually part of the state legislation when the university was renamed in 1878. The following excerpt is from the Board of Trustee minutes:

"...the educational institution heretofore known as the 'Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College,' shall be known and designated hereafter as 'The Ohio State University.'"


lofatdairy 11 days ago [-]
There _is_ an Ohio University that can cause confusion, even for Ohio natives. The reasons for the definite article though stem from its legal history and has mostly just become a way Ohioans signify as being "in the know". Anyone unironically taking offense probably takes offense at the idea OSU's reputation doesn't extend much further out the Midwest (speaking as an Ohioan).
automatoney 11 days ago [-]
Read it as like underdog state pride, in the sense of "the one and only" It's certainly not the only state university - Ohio University is only about an hour away.
rotten 11 days ago [-]
I have no idea, but you'll get corrected right fast if you forget to include the "The".
beastman82 11 days ago [-]
It's silly that's all I know
twiddling 11 days ago [-]
death_to_nimby 11 days ago [-]
boringg 11 days ago [-]
You may have some reasonable points but you are incorrect. Farmland isnt just another form of human development - its the quality of soil that is not easily replicable and is in finite sums and we cant keep cutting forests to create it as that has other bad global implications.
rotten 11 days ago [-]
Food comes from farms. Every time we wipe out a few more farms, we have less land to produce food on.
cycrutchfield 11 days ago [-]
I never understand this mentality. Keep undeveloped land undeveloped for what? People would rather have unemployment and opiate addicts instead of development and progress.
lofatdairy 11 days ago [-]
I don't think GP is advocating to keep the land undeveloped. They even go so far as the point out how the area makes a lot of sense for developers. The problems they identify seem to be 1) the reckless abandon to which developers are damaging ecosystems 2) an economic situation that allows developers to benefit significantly without these benefits necessarily passing into the community 3) the significant challenges of rapid population growth and 4) the fact that this development threatens their home. These are worth discussing and balancing against any benefits.

I also object your false dichotomy, and the idea that employment and "progress" (I doubt we can ever objectively make such a declaration) are zero-sum here.

cycrutchfield 11 days ago [-]
> an economic situation that allows developers to benefit significantly without these benefits necessarily passing into the community

Does the development of that land not result in increased property taxes to fund local services?

mikeyouse 11 days ago [-]
Almost all of these deals come with asinine property tax abatements gifted by the local jurisdictions to the wealthiest companies on earth.

Sure enough - Intel's package there is worth a few hundred million:

It's a game all of these firms play - have locales compete against each other (In some cases literally like the HQ2 debacle from Amazon) to see who can provide the largest package of tax incentives and subsidies and then hope nobody follows up on the absolute fantasy financial / Economic impact projections that were made.

rotten 11 days ago [-]
The opposite. It is those of us who live here who are paying for the new water and sewer lines and roads and street lights and law enforcement. Not the developers nor the big corporations who are getting abatements.
ErikCorry 11 days ago [-]
You said "The Intel project is paying for highway development the power and sewer extensions and more."?
rotten 10 days ago [-]
The Project, not Intel. It is Intel Project motivating the improvements which are making it possible for AWS, the box stores, the fast food joints, Google, and others to move in too. Intel the focal point for the money from the local governments, the state government, and the federal government to help make this happen.
kashunstva 11 days ago [-]
Keep it undeveloped for what, you ask? Interestingly this featureless wasted space is likely the home of a rich ecosystem evolved and evolving right here. And this very ecosystem may well support human thriving too in ways that people whooshing past won’t begin to understand.

> People would rather have unemployment and opiate addicts instead of development and progress.

So that’s our choice - big box stores and Amazon warehouses or opiate addicts and unemployment? In this formulation, the more progress, the fewer opiate addicts. So if we roll the clock back to, say, the mid 1500’s the whole continent would have been full of opiate addicts. Or possibly the directionality of the relationship is wrong. Or opiate addiction and unemployment are a little more complicated than that there’s “unused” land around.

asdff 10 days ago [-]
People always forget that there's plenty of land and you don't need to engage in greenfield really. You just need to build up. Keeping the ecosystems intact is much more important than keeping around a poorly insulated tinderbox of a home that was built in 3 weeks by unskilled laborers in 1935 around until the end of time. Ecosystems take thousands of years sometimes to develop all of their organic connectivity that we routinely destroy in no time at all.
reeckoh 11 days ago [-]
If you're in the US, find your nearest national forest and take a scenic drive through it.

When you get back, let us know how many opiate addicts you saw.

11 days ago [-]
jimjimjim 11 days ago [-]
don't come crying to me about the rising cost of canned air
roarcher 11 days ago [-]
rotten 11 days ago [-]
Many of us are high tech remote workers who enjoy the peace and quiet and open space.
roarcher 11 days ago [-]
I have a similar situation--I live in a small town 45 minutes from a large city, surrounded by farmland. Aside from the farmers, most of the people here work either remotely or in the city, and choose to live here because it's quiet and not full of, ironically, drug addicts like the city.

But we're not looking down our noses from high rise Silicon Valley condos, so I guess we're all a bunch of unwashed degenerates.

defrost 11 days ago [-]
I live (mostly) a good hour and a half away from the capital city in a state three times larger than Texas, the state pop. is a bit above 2 million and the urban population (one capital city with extensive sprawl, several very large towns) is also a bit under 2 million.

The very few hundred thousand or so that have the bulk of the space to ourselves are extremely happy to keep it "undeveloped", outside of agriculture, forest work, and mining sites with most (and all new ones) having strict controls about rehabilition .. in keeping with traditional land holders with some 70K years of history invested here.

roarcher 11 days ago [-]
Sounds like a dream. It took me nearly ten years to find stable enough remote work to escape the city, but damn was it ever worth it.
defrost 11 days ago [-]
I've heard of cities - I did my STEM degrees in "the most remote city in the world" (according to some early US astronauts astounded to see light in the darkness) and went on to write a few million SLOC in earth mapping and signal processing while doing geophysical field work (and WGS84 "ground truthing") across ~ two thirds of the 190+ countries across the globe - but rarely ever in cities.

It's odd to realise we've transitioned (as a species) from < %50 living in urban environments to > %50 within the past 40 or so years.

cycrutchfield 11 days ago [-]
Ohio is ranked #4 in per-capita drug overdoses ( and #10 for unemployment rate ( Seems like development and new jobs would be helpful for the area, no?
roarcher 11 days ago [-]
> Seems like development and new jobs would be helpful for the area, no?

Maybe, maybe not. Those tell me about Ohio in general, not the area the parent commenter is talking about. Either way, I'd be inclined to ask the people who live there what they want, not prescribe "development and jobs" from my ivory tower while insulting them.

My point is that you're making a pretty absurd false dichotomy. It's either "unemployment and opiate addicts", or having your quiet rural home paved over? Those are the only two choices?

cycrutchfield 11 days ago [-]
renewedrebecca 11 days ago [-]
You really have no idea what you're talking about. That part of Ohio isn't exactly underdeveloped.

If we were talking about parts of Southern Ohio, then sure, but New Albany? No, that's not where the overdoses are happening.

roarcher 11 days ago [-]
> Just because some NIMBY online says that’s not what they want doesn’t mean that they are right.

Right, it's only their home. Who are they to decide? They should do as their betters tell them.

Edit: By the way, the original commenter clarified that he's talking about New Albany. Not a struggling area by any means.

rotten 11 days ago [-]
New Albany is very affluent. My nearest 3 neighbors are all doctors.
eagleinparadise 11 days ago [-]
Yeah, these people have the decision to sell or hold. Yet people blather on asif some anon-gov't agent "stole land" or something
asdff 10 days ago [-]
In Ohio your property taxes get reassessed periodically. So as the local market goes up so does you tax burden. People really do get priced out of their home, sometimes priced out of the area entirely, especially if they are living on a fixed income.
totalZero 11 days ago [-]
Maybe, but that's not always the case. In the US, powers of eminent domain have at times been delegated to private entities. If there's a clear public benefit for seizure of land, sometimes the landowners don't have much of a choice.
MrCharismatist 11 days ago [-]

Sounds like us-east-2d is coming.

ericmay 11 days ago [-]
Thanks for sharing the non-paywalled article!
TeMPOraL 11 days ago [-]
Thanks for saying this, as it made me pay attention - and so I must now ask in surprise: when did we lose the automatic "web"/"archive" links in HN submissions?
mtmail 11 days ago [-]
"Ask HN: Why did HN get rid of the “web” button?"
samvher 11 days ago [-]
It's not obvious to me why it would be very beneficial to have a data center close to an Intel plant, but it sounds a bit like it might not be a coincidence that they're close together. If someone knows why this pairing makes sense, care to explain?

(The closest thing I can think of is low delivery costs on electronics, but that seems really tiny compared to basically anything else that matters here, and it's not like they would typically get delivered straight from a plant, so that doesn't seem like it would be it.)

jonas21 11 days ago [-]
It's a coincidence in the sense that there's probably not a particular reason for Amazon to want to be next to Intel.

It's not a coincidence in the sense that Ohio recently passed a bunch of tax incentives for building "megaprojects" [1], and New Albany in particular seems to be investing heavily in the infrastructure that would be required for such projects. So it's not surprising they both ended up there.



MuffinFlavored 11 days ago [-]
I wonder where Ohio ranks in terms of "cheapness" to build compared to all 49 other states in the country (even before tax incentives)
tomschlick 11 days ago [-]
Most likely its just that the county officials there are willing to clear red-tape and expedite zoning/permitting/inspection for large corps looking to place high tech jobs there. Possibly negotiate property tax breaks too.
tersers 11 days ago [-]
This is the simplest and most likely answer, not everything in tech is a big masterminded ploy
acdha 11 days ago [-]
That would be my assumption as well: they're relatively similar in what they're looking for many of the same things: reasonable prices for land, water, electricity, etc., amenable local government, and reasonable housing + workforce. Intel's going to need more people but otherwise I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that both lists of candidate locations ended up being very similar.
MrDunham 11 days ago [-]
I moved to Columbus after growing up in the Bay Area ~5 years ago, am friends with the head of economic development, and my wife worked at one of the data centers near Intel.

It's hard to describe the sheer amount of land available there within only a 20 minute drive from a top 20 population town. Although I'm still a self-described snobby Californian, there is quite a lot to do here (except skiing and the beach).

But to answer your question, that area is: 1. Close to a city (which Meta found out was important because no one wants to live in a place with two restaurants and crap schools) 2. They ran fiber in a 30 mile dia ring around most/the entire city 3. There is water galore 4. There is abundant and cheap electricity 5. There is (decent) access to talent 6. The schools are good and real estate is cheap, so you can import talent (like me and my wife) 7. The governor's office is very business friendly 8. Taxes are low (for everyone, there is talk of going to 0% income tax)

So - this isn't really "why does a data center want to be near Intel" and more "there is a lot of assets in the immediate area that makes it wildly attractive to tech and other companies" and Columbus (and New Albany) has been extensively aggressive in getting these projects.

Side note, we have: * 3ish AWS data centers (DC) * A Google DC (I think under construction) campus * Two Meta DC campuses (10 500k sq ft buildings built and planned)

I don't think Microsoft nor Apple are here... yet. Wife was on DC site selection and nearly always they all end up in each location just down the street from each other.

Edit: it's also centrally located and a 12 hr drive to 60+% of the US population. Good for manufacturing and data centers.

Also, another poster noted very low natural disasters and seismic activity

hnburnsy 11 days ago [-]
Doesn't New Albany have an income tax, on top of state and federal taxes, and extra property tax rate to pay for the new infrastructure. Gotta pay for the upkeep on that white fence.
MrDunham 10 days ago [-]
They almost certainly have income tax - I can't speak to it though (we chose a different suburb nearby). Many of the cities do have an income tax and property taxes are quite high (I pay $1k/mo on a mid six figure home).

The full-load is still ~half of CA though, in my experience

kitanata 11 days ago [-]
wyldfire 11 days ago [-]
Probably useful for Amazon to leverage:

* similar subsidies that Intel benefits from

* public resources that Intel benefits from

* population/education/employees/housing that Intel draws to work there

whalesalad 11 days ago [-]
A rising tide lifts all boats. If there is a big tech partner in that particular region, there will be better supporting infra as well (employee base, friendly local municipalities, fiber internet, power infrastructure, etc)

plus they can yeet the xeon's over the highway via a pneumatic tube system

asdff 10 days ago [-]
Ohio is positioning itself as a red state that will listen to business interests over most anything. Recently the governor signed a law stating natural gas would be considered green energy in Ohio. This could allow power hungry industry to use cheap gas and tout being 'green,' for example, but it at least signals to industry that the state legislature will pen whatever they dictate and the governor will sign it.


tpmx 11 days ago [-]
I could easily imagine some of those spammy, idiotic and successful youtubers going on and on about how this will enable AWS to much more efficently ship those ~100 gram Intel CPUs from where they are manufactured to where they will be used and thereby gain a decisive competitive advantage.
jcims 11 days ago [-]
Probably more about utilities/logistics of supporting both plants.
discodave 11 days ago [-]
To wit: One way you can find Amazon (or other) datacenters on Google maps is to look for the substation next door.
nickpeterson 11 days ago [-]
I went to high school in New Albany in the early 2000s, it’s crazy to me how developed that whole area has become. Likely to have some big downsides, but tax money isn’t one of them.
virtuallynathan 11 days ago [-]
Power availability?
asdff 10 days ago [-]
Cheap power availability but its mostly natural gas and coal, apparently Ohio is the 4th highest energy consuming state. Sanctified power too, now that the governor signed a bill declaring natural gas is to be considered green energy.

yazaddaruvala 11 days ago [-]
Probably just another data center.

But instead I’ll take a leap and predict:

This is Amazon moving into not just designing Graviton but also vertically integrating silicon fabrication (for CPU, memory, and/or storage) into their portfolio.

bob1029 11 days ago [-]
Fabrication is a red line. Apple-style chip design is as far as it will ever go.

You'd need to take the combined capital of Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, along with 2-3 decades of time to even begin considering becoming competitive with the likes of TSM or Samsung. Who is signing up for that risk profile?

yazaddaruvala 11 days ago [-]
Fabrication (or the loss of access to it at an affordable price) is an existential risk for every IAAS provider!

Lets forget about WW3, but even the risk of a TSMC monopoly (or rather a TSMC+Apple monopoly) and price gouging is existential enough that Amazon has plenty of risk sitting on the sidelines regarding fabrication.

It would be very inline with AWS to start fabrication as a service to avoid this existential risk. They can always start with easier node sizes for SSDs / DDRs / networking / automotive chips / etc. Even if only to self-source, Amazon alone needs a roughly-infinite supply of these speciality chips. Even totally new innovation that "only Amazon-types" need, like a Silicon interconnect the size of a Datacenter Cabinet (if the yield is reasonable) would be interesting to see.

They could even make a play at SiC chips[0]. If they can make it cheap and at small enough node sizes, I'd love to see what innovation SiC could bring to datacenter design. eg more efficient power supplies of each server/rack/cabinet.


tester756 11 days ago [-]
Is Ohio becoming tech heartland?
sparrc 11 days ago [-]
Do datacenters actually do anything to draw in engineering or a significant number of tech jobs? Beyond just HVAC and a few server operations people.

us-west-2 certainly hasn't done much to make The Dalles, Oregon a tech hub (or even Portland for that matter)

ericmay 10 days ago [-]
They don't, though at least this development seems to have enough footprint to do something interesting. A lot of people I talk to get excited "Google is coming to town" and it's like, you don't want warehouses (datacenters) moving in, you want engineers, designers, marketing teams, c-suite to move in. Intel is an example for Columbus of one of those things you really do want to come into town, which is why it's such a big deal.
ch4s3 11 days ago [-]
Hard to say yet, but it isn't impossible and the triangle between Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Columbus isn't the worst option. There are a bunch of universities in range to draw talent, including Carnegie Mellon, OSU, and some smaller state and private schools. The land is cheap and the cost of living is pretty low.
agentwiggles 11 days ago [-]
Seems at least semi-possible given all the recent investment. I've lived in Columbus for the last decade or so and generally enjoy living here.

I view all this development with some trepidation as more high-paying jobs and big salaries threaten to do to Columbus and the surrounding area what has happened to lots of other tech cities though. Housing here is still _semi_ reasonable but definitely increasing fast, and the city has a fairly small footprint compared to other major metros.

Even so, it's an exciting time in a state which I think is usually fairly underrated as flyover country.

asdff 10 days ago [-]
I'm not sure it will be as long as the ohio republican party is in total control of the state. Between the rampant gerrymandering and corruption, abortion stance, lgbt stance, attacks on public education and critical race theory, and recently declaring natural gas is green energy, its hard to imagine that this will foster an innovative and progressive environment long term.
hparadiz 11 days ago [-]
After growing up in Pennsylvania you could not pay me to move back to one of these states in the Northeast. First of all there's barely any tech jobs so even if you were payed really well by Google or Amazon you would be at their mercy. If they fired you you'd be pretty much fucked.
11 days ago [-]
myko 11 days ago [-]
Yes, there's even a shirt for it:

Makes sense for tech companies to be in the Columbus area, Ohio State has an excellent CS program.

The big markets in Columbus are banks and insurance.

ericmay 11 days ago [-]
Healthcare, government, education too.

I really don’t like that shirt. Nicknames are earned. They have to be organic!

tjr225 11 days ago [-]
sriram_sun 11 days ago [-]
Is Phoenix a tech heartland? How long has Intel been around that area? My guess is no.
makestuff 11 days ago [-]
I thought Chicago/Illinois had a good shot at becoming the midwest tech hub, but Ohio seems to be making a good run at it. Don't get me wrong Chicago has tech companies, but Columbus is making some major gains there.
stjohnswarts 11 days ago [-]
Which is a shame since Chicago is a great city and Illinois is a blue state that has a much better history with individual rights (outside of guns). I think that's something that younger tech workers really want in a place they plan on being in for a while.
exclusiv 11 days ago [-]
Chicago could have been but they have long been hostile to businesses. And it's a big country. So you can see why some of these cities provide crazy tax incentives.
ydnaclementine 11 days ago [-]
Always has been
LarryMullins 11 days ago [-]
Ohio invented outer space after all.
a2tech 11 days ago [-]
The state of Ohio has birthed more astronauts than any other state. Mostly because people are so desperate to get out of Ohio they’ll go to space to escape. UofM has the most astronauts that made it to the moon. And a flag on the moon.

Good natured ribbing :)

Kon-Peki 11 days ago [-]
> UofM has the most astronauts that made it to the moon

The Wikipedia page suggests that the US Naval Academy has had 3 graduates walk on the moon with UofM, Purdue and West Point all having 2. Good company to be in, for sure.

I have many extended family members in Ohio. What I've heard is that most feel like public education is going down hill. It used to be that any sufficiently advanced high school student would get to attend classes at nearby colleges for free (and receive credit) if their local school didn't have a course they were qualified for. The current program has been very watered down and is underfunded, so very few kids actually get to take advantage of it. Just one of many negatives I've heard over the years.

asdff 10 days ago [-]
Like in most other red states these days, the GOP controlled statehouse is trying to ruin public education further by passing don't say gay bills or preventing the teaching of the racist history of this country. One can't really be optimistic until the gerrymandering situation is fixed, because as it stands the republicans cannot ever lose their majority.
nDIgger 11 days ago [-]
ProAm 11 days ago [-]
I'm not sure if you've ever been to Ohio, but no.
jeffbee 11 days ago [-]
Interesting. I associate the region with air pollution and carbon-intensive power. Ohio is near the bottom of the 50 states in wind and solar energy. A few years ago I would not have said Ohio was going to attract so much datacenter construction, but now every big datacenter operator is there.
renewedrebecca 11 days ago [-]
It's ok- our governor just declared natural gas to be green energy, so we don't need that silly wind and solar stuff.
nickpeterson 11 days ago [-]
Carbon intensive power is likely cheaper, unfortunately, so there’s that.
snihalani 11 days ago [-]
This is what the layoff money was used for
atdrummond 11 days ago [-]
dang 11 days ago [-]
Maybe so, but please don't take HN threads on generic flamewar tangents.

We detached this subthread from

atdrummond 11 days ago [-]
Yeah, not my intent at all.
dang 11 days ago [-]
I believe you! But intent doesn't express yourself, and often gets more obscure the shorter/more generic a comment is.

When it comes to moderation, we have to go by effects, not intent. Specifically, we have to by "effects in the general statistical case", if that makes sense.

zdragnar 11 days ago [-]
For the other inhabitants of the world, certainly, but by what metric has it been a disaster for the human race? There are potential serious issues in the making, but as of yet we are largely living longer and with lower rates of malnutrition and starvation than any time before us.

To keep growing (both in quantity but also in health and life outcomes) we will need to find a new balance. We weren't necessarily in balance of any sort before then, either. Everything changes, and we will keep changing with the times.

cycrutchfield 11 days ago [-]
“Sent from my iPhone”
doublerabbit 11 days ago [-]
sib 11 days ago [-]
400 acres represents 0.01% of Ohio's land area. This doesn't really change the state's land use profile.
doublerabbit 11 days ago [-]
Trees, for a forest? Those would still produce more for the planet than what an datacentre provides. Which takes resources from the planet..

Water is a finite resource, you need electricity too. Carbon emissions from the build. While I'm sure it will green DC but doesn't solve the fact your destroying natural land for nothing other than a building with servers in it.

leesalminen 11 days ago [-]
Are you against all new development of land for commercial purposes? Or is it something about data centers in particular?
doublerabbit 11 days ago [-]
Any new development that doesn't give back to the resources it takes, yes.

If Amazon were to build a 400 acre DC and then contribute 800 acres of land as replacement, no problem. But 400 acres of destroyed habitat involving more air pollution, strain on planetary resources for a company which makes billions in profit and doesn't pay back. Where's the positive?

BeetleB 11 days ago [-]
> Any new development that doesn't give back to the resources it takes, yes.

I learned recently about private land conservation: The idea is that you take a piece of undeveloped land you own, and mark is as a conservation area. This prevents development in perpetuity - the status is tied to the land even if you sell it. Enforcement is decently strong - there are lots of nonprofits that actively monitor these lands and report nonviolators.

I don't have the source of the statistic, but one place I read that annually about 2.2 million acres are developed, and 2 million acres are conserved, so it is close to parity.

(Owner gets tax benefits for doing this, but typically they'd earn more if they allow development).

leesalminen 11 days ago [-]
I know of land owners who bought up all the property surrounding their house and got a land conservation easement. Not only do they get a tax break, they have no neighbors and the value of the property the house is on increases dramatically.
BeetleB 11 days ago [-]
These are likely outliers. The value of all those properties they bought goes down dramatically with those easements, and usually the net would be negative with this approach.
leesalminen 11 days ago [-]
It seems to me that if the people of Ohio thought that donating 800 acres to nature reserves was important the government could’ve made it happen.

It would’ve cost Amazon peanuts, made legislators look good, and be good for the planet.

The positive is pretty clear- there are still billions of people not connected to the internet. I believe internet access should be a human right as it provides educational and economic opportunities, connects people closer together, among various things.

So, it all seems not so black and white to me.

MH15 11 days ago [-]
We've done well on that front in Ohio already
throwayyy479087 11 days ago [-]
Ohio has enormous parks already
doublerabbit 11 days ago [-]
Why not more?
LarryMullins 11 days ago [-]
Because people live there? Nah forget it, evacuate the whole state and let nature take over under the unbounded logic of "why not more."

400 acres is basically nothing compared to the scale of an entire state. It's less than a single square mile. Ohio has more than 40,000 square miles.

doublerabbit 11 days ago [-]
> 400 acres is basically nothing

It's still something. 400 trees are still better then 1. It's more than you and I will ever own. It's lot of land which could provide so much resource we desperately need. For good rather than evil.

1 acre ~ 4848 trees - That's a lot of trees. 4848 squirrels if each squirrel had a tree each, 4848 birds.

So lets complain about the worlds state while we continue to suck resources for construction with wastage of water for cooling as electricity is funneled via fossil fuels; polluting the air we breath. Killing natural ecosystems from destroyed habitats all while causing climate changes for more for nothing other than what? You tell me. So you can run your fancy JavaScript app?

I refuse to use any operative service Amazon provides. Apart from network connectivity where I'm forced to use against my will; they're just an another evil corporate entity who cares about nothing other than money. Where's the care for their workers?

LarryMullins 11 days ago [-]
I encourage you to leave the city and get a real sense of geographic scale.
doublerabbit 11 days ago [-]
I don't live in the US, nor Ohio. Back right at you, because maybe it should be you who should leave the country and see the disasters that these types of companies are causing to the world on a global geographic scale.
LarryMullins 10 days ago [-]
Since you do not live in America, I suppose you do not know how small 400 acres is. It's only 1.6 square kilometers.

Or maybe you live in a very small and dense country. Ohio is not a large state, but it is larger than many countries and perhaps larger than yours. Otherwise I cannot fathom your perspective. Whining about 400 acres of development in America is simply absurd.

doublerabbit 10 days ago [-]
Whining about the amount of destruction this causes and the environmental impact is far from absurd. Your the one in denial.

400 acres of reserved land is and will always be a positive mark than a DC from a company that abuses the planet so someone can pollute the planet and internet with a stupid app.

Keep the insults to yourself, because your no one special yourself. Your less of anyone when you start making accusations. I live in Scotland, which tyvm has far more than 400 acres of land-free for natural use.

renewedrebecca 11 days ago [-]
You are not forced to be connected to the network.
doublerabbit 11 days ago [-]
If I block AWS firewall level then I loose half of the internet from those who use AWS for their transit or those who use the provider for their sites.
throwayyy479087 11 days ago [-]
I’m going to bet you’ve never been to Ohio. It’s actually pretty real, and desperately needs jobs. There’s tons of high quality nature preserves and private land, and the monoculture farmland being bought here is not that.
exclusiv 11 days ago [-]
Ohio doesn't have any animals that most people give a shit about. Would you import them? Like they did at the zoo?
m348e912 11 days ago [-]
Not nearly as profitable.