LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s official, Facebook is coming to New Mexico. The internet giant announced Wednesday it’s building a sprawling server farm in Los Lunas and New Mexico politicians are hoping other companies will follow.
This deal has been in the works for about a year. Los Lunas had been competing against a city in Utah for the project.
Village residents say they’re thrilled with the news.
“It’ll be good for the housing market. There will probably be a lot of new houses going in and there will be more stores and businesses and restaurants. It’ll be a big boast for the Los Lunas economy,” said Susan Cox.
“I’m hoping it will bring some pretty good jobs to the area and hopefully get some local people to start working and get Los Lunas going again,” said Rene Gutierrez.
Mayor Richard J. Berry offered congratulations on Wednesday: “Getting Facebook to choose New Mexico did not happen overnight,” said Mayor Berry. “This was achieved due to a concerted effort by the State and our Governor, the City of Los Lunas, PNM, and many others. This is a huge economic opportunity for the surrounding area as we continue to make the Albuquerque Metro and New Mexico a hub for the high tech industry.”
Facebook’s investment will be about $250 million. Facebook is planning to build the 250-acre facility in an industrial area off I-25 near the Walmart Distribution Center.
The first phase of the project is expected to provide hundreds of construction jobs then 30 to 50 full-time jobs.
Facebook says they will be looking to hire engineers of all kinds and site managers.
The state and village were able to lure Facebook to Los Lunas with a 30-year deal. The company won’t pay any taxes during that time but Los Lunas officials believe the village will reap the benefits.
“This is great for the village. Individuals who work for the company and who are involved with the construction jobs will shop, buy homes, go to hotels and spend money in our town for the gross receipt taxes,” said Los Lunas Economic Development Manager Ralph L. Mims.
Facebook also liked New Mexico because of the agreement they reached with the PRC to work with PNM to power the facility with 100 percent renewable energy using solar or wind or a combination of the two.
Facebook plans to start construction as early as next month and the facility should be online in 2018.
New Mexico’s inability to attract good jobs over the past decade is well-documented. But state officials hope this will send a message to other marquee companies to follow Facebook’s lead.
“This was an incredibly intense national search, in which to locate their facility, and the fact that New Mexico won this, speaks volumes about where we have come in the last six years,” said Jon Barela, New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary.
Governor Susana Martinez released this statement on the decision:
“Facebook is a stellar, cutting-edge, high-tech company, and it’s an honor to welcome them to New Mexico,” said Governor Martinez. “Making our state more competitive for jobs and new investment is critical to growing our private sector and diversifying our economy. With the improvements we’ve made over the past several years, New Mexico is finally competing again, and in this case, it’s a big win for the people of our state and our economic future. When we first sat down with Facebook executives 13 months ago, we weren’t even on their radar. But we made a strong case and laid out how competitive we have become,” continued Governor Martinez. “Two months later, we got the call and went straight to work. We competed. And, by working together at all levels of government, and with private partners like PNM, we have helped make New Mexico a home for one of the largest tech companies in the world.”