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'Project Anthem': Future of $800M Tulsa data center relies on tax incentive

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-17 19:13:28-04

TULSA, Okla. — An $800 million data center could be coming to east Tulsa if city councilors approve a tax incentive district.

This comes at a time when Oklahoma is seeing more data centers popping up in different communities.

When business tycoon Kevin O'Leary visited Gov. Stitt in January, they discussed Oklahoma's potential to be a hub for data centers.

"I love data centers. That's the new oil. That state has lots of oil. They have lots of energy. Now they have the new oil," O'Leary said.

2 News also reported about additional investment at Google's data center in Mayes County.

Most recently, Polaris Technology invested $100 million in a data center in Muskogee.

MORE about the Polaris data center:

Polaris Technologies, Inc. invests $100M to build Muskogee data center

Now – east Tulsa is looking to get its own near 11th and the Creek Turnpike.

It's known as Project Anthem.

The data center would be on roughly 340 acres of land. It's expected to employ about 50 people with an average salary of $63,000 a year.

Sharon Hale said she sees the good and bad of having one so close to her neighborhood.

"My first thought was, oh no," she said.

Tulsa City Councilor Laura Bellis asked if noise pollution from the data center could occur at the city's Urban and Development meeting on April 17.
It's a question on Hale's mind and some of her neighbors.

Spencer Mitchell presented the proposed data center at the meeting and answered Bellis' question. Mitchell responded that the type of zoning already approved by the city council would not allow for any loud noise.

Mitchell is working to get a tax incentive district approved by the city council once the data center is constructed for 25 years.

According to Mitchell's presentation, the incentive request would be an 85% exemption of ad valorem tax and ad valorem special assessments levied against new real and personal property investments.

The exemption would apply to the City of Tulsa, Wagoner County, Catoosa Public Schools, Tulsa Tech, Wagoner County Health Department, and the Rolling Hills Fire District.

He said the company looking to build is fully funding the project itself, but he wouldn't tell 2 News who the company was.

Hale said the data center has the potential to make her once quiet neighborhood even louder, but she also sees the benefits.

"We're not excited about the extra traffic, the extra noise and we wish it would add more jobs long term than it's going to be offer," Hale said. "But it's going to be good for the school system and good for the community. Progress is progress."

The next steps include two public meetings regarding the data center. From there, the Tulsa City Council will either accept or deny the project moving forward.

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