Internet search giant Google is expanding in Council Bluffs, a $300 million deal expected to be a boost for the economy.
Almost three years after Google opened their data centers in Council Bluffs, about four miles away, construction has began on a new site near Bunge and Wabash Avenues.
Council Bluffs was chosen for a $300 million dollar Google expansion, "Their first location, they built $600 Million, that's on 57 acres. There's 1,000 acres down there, so obviously we think its going to be more than a portion of it," said Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan.
Mayor Hanafan and other city council members are excited to see more jobs for the city,
"We're fortunate enough that they chose Council Bluffs early on and now they're expanding and we're very pleased and excited for it," said council member Sharon White.
Even though what exactly is being built on the land is yet to be announced by Google; "Just think of the construction, $300 million in construction is going to go on," said Mayor Hanafan.
Not to mention at least 50 more Google jobs up for grabs. Many say Google has made a huge impact on the community already, "I think we'll never be sorry that we brought Google to town," said Council Bluffs Resident Hersh Rodasky.
At Bayliss Park, one of the three free wifi spots worked out between the city and Google in fall 2011, the opportunity of free internet is taken advantage of. "When someone doesn't have internet and they want to apply for a job or something, they can come to the free wifi places and apply for the jobs," said Kristina McIntosh.
More than wifi, Rodasky says Google has truly changed the city, "Years and years ago I said I'd never move to Council Bluffs, and Council Bluffs has changed, its grown up, its now the big sister. And I think that the town across the river is the little sister now. Just, great things are going on here."
Google will announce their plans for the expansion Tuesday at a press conference. Until then, everything is being kept under wraps.
Google did file an application with the FCC for satellite dishes in Council Bluffs. The location of those is next to the data center though, not where they are expanding.
On Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Board paved the way for the deal, the board awarded tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program to Google for a potential expansion of its operations in Council Bluffs.