By Kent Darr

 

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board will consider an application Friday from a mystery company that plans a $677 million data center in West Des Moines.

 

Operating under the code name Project Mountain, the software company is seeking High Quality Jobs Program tax credits. According to a summary of the project, the company plans to provide its own financing. The project is expected to create 36 jobs.

 

Earlier this month, the city of West Des Moines approved a five-year sliding property tax rebate of about $8 million based on an agreed minimum property assessment of $40 million for the first phase of development and $100 million for a planned second phase.

 

Site work would begin later this year, with construction starting in December 2014.

 

West Des Moines Community and Economic Development Director Clyde Evans said the city has negotiated with the company for about a year.

 

West Des Moines already is host to a Microsoft Corp. data center that is located in an area the city calls the Grand Technology Gateway, which stretches roughly from Interstate 35 west to 105th Street.

 

Facebook Inc. plans to build a $300 million data center in Altoona, with possible expansion that could kick the project to $1.5 billion. In April, the economic development board approved $18 million in High Quality Jobs Program tax benefits to create at least 31 new jobs at a qualifying wage of $23.12 per hour.

 

According to a project summary, the software company's products include operating systems, portals to search the Internet and websites to conduct those searches.

 

Project costs break down this way: nearly $8.8 million in site preparation, $551 million in construction and $117 in equipment and machinery.