Here’s How North Carolina Almost Lost Apple’s Data Center Contract


Bird's-eye view of Apple's NC data center.
Bird's-eye view of Apple's NC data center.

By now, you’ve probably heard that Apple has a large data center in North Carolina which powers much of the iCloud ecosystem that Apple debuted in 2011. What you may not know, though, is that the small town of Maiden, North Carolina almost lost the contract with Apple. Thanks to GigaOm, we now know how it all went down.

The town of Maiden, with a population of just over 3,000, had been in talks with Apple for months to get them interested in building a data center. A developer had spent months making sure that Apple would be able to use an abandoned mill building on the site.

Unfortunately, as time progressed, Apple decided that the building was too small, and that they would have to look elsewhere. In a last-ditch effort, Catawba County offered Apple a 180 acre park just three miles down the road.

Offering Apple such a large plot of land for a 500,000 square foot building was a bold move, considering that the county had wanted several data centers to fit on the plot, but it worked out in the end, as at its peak, it brought over 1,400 workers to the site on a single day.

The impact of Apple’s data center reaches far beyond just the building, though. Other technology companies have become interested in the area due to how hot Apple is right now. Many are now being convinced to locate in the surrounding towns.

North Carolina is quickly becoming the hub of many of the data centers in the U.S., housing other big name companies such as Google.

Source: GigaOm




  • joewaylo

    With pollutants skyrocketing up the wazoo and being mocked at by Greenpeace with Apple at the core, I’m surprised NC kept the contract.

  • technochick

    Sounds like typical Apple. They likely realized pretty quick that they would want to expand and the space wouldnt work for that. A second contract would have them at the disadvantage which is a place Apple never likes to be. So, they were going to look for a spot with some breathing room.