Amazon buys 234 acres of Pickaway County land for potential data center expansion

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Amazon Web Services is turning to Pickaway County to play a potential role in its $7.8 billion data center expansion in central Ohio.

The company bought 234 acres of land for $49.1 million on state Route 104 just outside of Southern Point and between Commercial Point and Lockbourne, according to Pickaway County property records. The deal closed on Dec. 28.

“We are constantly evaluating new locations based on customer demand. We recently purchased land in Pickaway County and are performing due diligence in exploring possible data center locations,” the company said in a statement released Tuesday night.

The latest purchase comes following Amazon’s announcement last summer that it was expanding its data center operations in central Ohio.

Amazon’s data operations here date to 2015, and it has data centers in New Albany, Dublin and Hilliard.

Last fall, Amazon struck a deal to spend $3.5 billion in New Albany to expand its data center operations there.

Under that agreement, Amazon will build five data centers and related buildings totaling 1.25 million square feet on 85 of 439 acres the company bought along Beech and Miller roads early this year.

Central Ohio is now home to more than 50 data centers, according to a new report from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Amazon, Facebook, Google are among the companies that have data centers in New Albany.

But the concentration of data centers in New Albany may be reaching a tipping point and could be a factor in Amazon is searching elsewhere for its continued expansion of data centers.

“As with many other major markets, power availability is becoming a growing constraint in the New Albany cluster,” the Cushman and Wakefield report said. “Power delivery times are increasingly several years away, incentivizing operators to search for available sites farther from the development frenzy.”

The report cites the usual reasons why central Ohio has become a major data center player: low risk of natural disasters, affordable land, favorable tax incentives and access to electricity.

“While the Columbus region is already home to more than 50 data centers, including those owned by AWS, Google Cloud and Meta, billions of dollars in new investments are pouring into the metropolitan area,” the report said.

Dispatch reporter Jim Weiker contributed to this report.