Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Yahoo aims to expand its operations in the Town of Lockport by building a new data center and a customer call center in the town’s industrial park.
The projected $168 million investment would bring a total of 115 jobs, 100 of which will be located in the customer call center.
The Internet giant announced on Thursday its plans to build a 150,000-square-foot complex on the 13-acre property it purchased from Lockport in December. The property is just east of the existing 190,000-square-foot data center, which opened in 2010 in the Enterprise Drive and Junction Road corner of the park.
“This is significant, we’re excited about another 115 jobs coming here,” said David R. Kinyon, the town Industrial Development Agency executive director.
At this point, details about the customer call center are still being figured out. But, the call center will be located in the Industrial Development Agency Park for sure, said Paul Bonaro, facilities manager for the Lockport Yahoo data center.
“They (Yahoo management) are excited about the opportunity to come here,” Bonaro told the IDA Board of Directors on Thursday.
The new data center will be similar to the current facility, right down to its “chicken coop” design as well as the fact the new center will consist of three “pods” and an administrative wing. The coop uses outdoor air to cool the servers, mimicking the long, narrow design of a chicken coop that encourages natural air flow.
The current facility is a 190,000-square-foot data center with five “pods” or data wings and an administrative center. There are currently 77 full-time employees working at the site, which is Yahoo’s northeast data center. Other regional data centers are located on Omaha, Neb. and Quincy, Wash., which have been expanded in the past few years.
Yahoo’s plan to expand in Lockport is a good thing, said Larry Southwick, professor emeritus from the University at Buffalo’s School of Management. Office type industries such as Yahoo or Geico in Amherst are stable and diversify the market, which is what an economy needs.