COMMENTARY: In the heart of New Mexico near the Village of Los Lunas, nestled below the Isleta Pueblo and surrounded by some of the state’s most spectacular natural landscapes, a stretch of land sits at the ready to help boost New Mexico’s economy.
The proposed site for what’s being described as a $30 billion, 50-job Facebook data center would be of mutual benefit to the state and the company.
To Facebook’s business developers, I propose the following reasons why New Mexico is the right — no, the perfect place, for your data center:
Your New Mexico data center would help meet your 50 percent renewable energy target:
You set a goal to power at least half of your infrastructure with clean energy by the end of 2018, a laudable and ambitious target that New Mexico will help you meet.
That’s why New Mexico regulators have unanimously approved a power plan for your data center that would employ new solar facilities to offset the bulk of your center’s power demands. With 275 days of sunshine and a utility company with an extensive solar portfolio, you’re in a prime spot for clean energy development.
The community support for your data center is overwhelming:
Unlike that of our closest reported competitor, there is strong support for a Facebook center in Los Lunas, and in New Mexico. We welcome you with open arms, generous incentives, and room for growth.
The Los Lunas Village Council unanimously approved a robust industrial revenue bond package to the tune of $5 billion to help you build the data center, and qualified in-state contractors and sub-contractors are in position to help build your campus the right way, for the right cost.
And because business needs change and we anticipate that you’ll love doing business in New Mexico so much, the proposed 850-acre Huning Ranch Business Park offers plenty of room for expansion.
Here, you won’t be met with controversy or dirty looks — you’ll be greeted with fiscal incentives, a ready workforce, and most likely a hot air balloon-size basket full of green chile (you have to try it).
We have the workforce and high-tech environment you need:
New Mexico is home to a historic and thriving high-tech research and development sector. It’s home to three of the nation’s premier national laboratories, a world-renowned technology institution and two research universities, a supportive k-12 to employment STEM career pipeline, and a multitude of entrepreneurial government-research private spin-offs facilitated by in-state research and development agreements.
Together, this ideal blend of academic and small-business development resources in the tech sector would be in your backyard, as well the talent behind them. And hey, with a 47 percent Hispanic and 10 percent Native American population, we’ll help you meet your diversity goals, too! A win-win.
We offer an unmatched qualify of life for your employees:
Infrastructure, incentives, and profit drive many business deals — but we know that Facebook values its people just as much as its bottom line. New Mexico offers an unparalleled gateway to outdoor recreation in one of the nation’s most diverse set of landscapes, a tremendous value for cost of living, and a rich cultural tapestry that is interwoven in just about everything we do.
And the food? Well, we hope Facebook has a good fitness program. But really, New Mexican food is known for bold, spicy and delicious cuisine, and where else can you trace your steps along a breakfast burrito byway or the famed green chile cheeseburger trail? (The Owl is superior — you’ll get this soon.)
Also, we hope you like microbrew beer, because it’s kind of a big deal for us.
A legacy project that would help lift New Mexico families out of poverty:
If you invest in New Mexico, you’d be making a moral and economically sound business decision. We believe that economic development carries with it a moral dimension that should always be considered. Yes, we’re not California, Texas, or New York. Yes, we have some serious poverty and employment challenges. But realizing that the very fundamental human values that drive business should be to give employees the opportunity to provide for themselves and their family — to pursue education and increased quality of life — makes New Mexico the perfect choice for Facebook to invest in.
Facebook, we’re here, and we’re ready. We’ll start warming up the chile and the hot air balloons on your call. Thanks for considering New Mexico.
Gabe Vasquez is a graduate of New Mexico State University and a former board member and director of the Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He once thought about quitting Facebook but experienced frightening withdrawals. He can be reached at [email protected].