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Amazon company behind $11 billion St. Joseph County project, Gov. Holcomb announces

Reed Saxon

St. Joseph County officials have been coy about naming the company that’s poised to make the largest capital investment deal in Indiana history.

But on Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb confirmed rumors that it’s Amazon that plans to invest $11 billion to build a massive data center campus west of South Bend.

In a press release, Holcomb announced the Indiana Economic Development Corporation plans to grant Amazon a myriad of tax incentives that total over $100 million. St. Joseph County’s director of development Bill Schalliol said there will be more local tax breaks for the historic project.

“This is something that will be transformational not only for the region but also for the state. To have our team play a part in that, it’s an honor.”

Development documents show Amazon plans to create around 400 full-time positions in addition to several hundred more jobs at companies that Amazon will contract with.

Schalliol said his team first began discussions with Amazon representatives in the spring of 2023 about building on land in the Indiana Enterprise Center just east of New Carlisle. The fact General Motors and Samsung were locked in to a $3.6 billion EV battery plant nearby helped show Amazon St. Joseph County was able to process the kind of massive deal the data center would bring.

"As we were doing the utilities planning for GM, [Amazon] was able to benefit from a lot of that prework," Schalliol said. "We're able to rightsize pipes — there's a lot of efficiencies between the projects."

In addition to the extensive utility work in the IEC, the western edge of St. Joseph County boasts relatively cheap land and easy access to the I-90 interstate, which companies find attractive. The state's press release adds that Amazon is committing $7 million toward road construction work along State Road 2 that will take place this summer.

"Amazon has long been an important economic partner in Indiana, and we are excited to welcome AWS. This significant investment solidifies Indiana’s leadership position in the economy of the future, and will undoubtedly have a positive ripple effect on the town of New Carlisle, the north central region and the state of Indiana for years to come," Holcomb said in the press release.

The company would build a series of buildings on two separate parcels. One parcel is 640 acres directly east of the Navistar Proving Grounds bounded by Strawberry Road. Another smaller 280-acre parcel north between Edison Road and Larrison Drive.

Amazon, operating under the Razor5 name for the last year, has not yet purchased any land, though it did pay $1 million to a local landowner just to be able to survey the larger of the two parcels last year.

The proposed data center is also unique in it's large scope. In the past few years, other tech giants like Meta and Google have also announced data center projects in Indiana, but those projects are only estimated to bring in $1 billion in investment. Schalliol explained the Amazon project is more of a campus with multiple buildings as opposed to solely a data center.

"When we had our first site visit with the team, we knew it could be a real big project for the area the way they described it. What we didn't realize is over the next year, just how big the project could get," Schalliol told WVPE. "We're really excited where we are today."

Tax abatements and further approvals for the project will go before the St. Joseph officials in the coming months.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.