© 2024 Innovation Trail

Verizon might bring jobs here, according to somebody

A little bird told the Buffalo News some big eggs might be hatching in a nest near you.
Henry McLin
via Flickr
A little bird told the Buffalo News some big eggs might be hatching in a nest near you.

Rumors have hit the Buffalo-Niagara area.

Verizon Communications may spend nearly $2 billion to build a massive data center in rural Niagara County, with at least 200 employees, according to a source familiar with the company's inquiries locally.

That’s according to a Buffalo News article that ran Wednesday.

One would have to be living under a rock to have not noticed the winks and nods going on around here lately.At last week’s Yahoo ribbon cutting, for instance, speakers repeatedly referred to interest in the area from other large companies. When pressed, the wall went up. But there was a glint in the collective eye of people in the know.

The Yahoo deal has pulled a lot of attention to the area. Using the area’s cold temperatures to naturally cool servers is an idea that’s making the rounds. Yahoo also got 15 megawatts of mega cheap hydropower. And there are too many tax breaks to mention in one paragraph. Perhaps Verizon is looking for a similar night on the town.

The article continues:

Previous reports had pegged the potential cost of the facility at $500 million, with 150 to 200 employees. But the source said that's the low end of a very broad range of options that go as high as $1.9 billion, including the cost of the buildings as well as the computer servers and other equipment.

This is exactly the kind of project politicians, economic development folks and businesspeople invest so much of their breath in. If this happens (and remember, these are just rumors) This would be huge news for a region still reeling from decades of decline in manufacturing.

So how credible is this report? First of all, it was front page (below the fold) in the Buffalo News. The fact they felt comfortable enough to do that is telling.

Let’s go back to the “According to a source familiar with the company’s inquiries locally.” Hm! What’s that mean? How credible is this mystery person(s)? Why would this local source spill the beans? A lot of behind-the-scenes people never do that; it’s almost gospel. Hexing the project is a real fear, whether superstitious or not. What does Verizon think of this leaking to the press? 

From the same Buffalo News article::

The source said Verizon is still doing its due diligence, andexamining (sic) potential costs, so nothing is final yet, including building plans. The Somerset Town Board is holding a public hearing on Oct. 12 on a rezoning request by AES Somerset for that property, given Verizon's interest.

The town board hearing is a meaty item. This wouldn’t be happening unless local officials thought they might have a real shot.

Perhaps this is close to a done deal? That’s the thing; it’s a rumor: you don’t really know until you know. 

To leave comments and see more content, please visit our InnovationTrail Facebook page.

WBFO/Western New York reporter for the Innovation Trail.