WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — In what may feel a little like déjà vu, Facebook’s Newton Data Center located in Stanton Springs is likely to be getting a friend in the near future.
According to the $42 billion Bond Resolution that was issued by the Joint Development Authority Tuesday, the bond approved is for a project registered under the name Project Baymare, LLC. The bond resolution describes it as “a project consisting of land, together with improvements thereto and equipment thereon, to be leased to Baymare, LLC for use as a data center and economic development project.”
This is surpising similar to the project that used the name Morning Hornet LLC back in 2018. That development was subsequently revealed to be a data center for tech giant Facebook that is now under development as Newton Data Center in Stanton Springs.
The JDA of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties has also agreed to ratify and make public the sale of 628.54 acres of property at Stanton Springs to Baymare, LLC at $62,500 per acre. JDA’s attorney Andrea Gray says this property does not abut the current Newton Data Center at Stanton Springs.
The JDA was adopted in 1999 between Newton, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties to create an industrial area to attract industry to the region – more specifically to create a research park for high-tech and bio-science industries. So far, that objective has done pretty well with it currently being the home to Takeda (originally Baxter), Facebook’s Newton Data Center and Georgia’s BioScience Training Center.
Since it began the development in Stanton Springs, Facebook has proved to be a good friend to the local area. The Walton County Chamber of Commerce awarded its 2020 Industry of the Year award to Facebook. Sponsored by the Development Authority of Walton County, the award was given to Facebook for its sizable contributions to the area.
In presenting the award at the Chamber’s annual meeting in January 2021, Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County, noted that Facebook is already investing more than $1 billion in the Newton Data Center, an operation that will support more than 200 high-paying jobs. In 2020, it also stepped up to provide nearly $1.5 million in grants to local schools, non-profits and small businesses in the four-country JDA region that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Walton County, these included a $370,000 grant to Social Circle City Schools to accelerate their plan to provide Chromebooks for 3 -12-grade sudents and a $175,000 small business grant program that was administed by the Walton County Chamber of Commerce. A total of 73 small local businesses were awarded grants of between $1,000 – $2,500. And this was not a one-time event. The 2021 Facebook Community Action Grant recipients will be announced this spring.
No other information as to the identity of Baymare, LLC is available at this time, but the Bond Agreement, obtained through an open records request, does note that it will be another data center. This is in keeping with the Stanton Springs stated goal to create a research park for high-tech development.