Facebook Behind Northland Data Center Project
Meta-Rendering

The parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is behind a massive data center planned for 375 acres northwest of I-435 and Highway 169 in Clay County.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson joined the unveiling March 24. “We’re proud to welcome Meta to Kansas City for this historic, cutting-edge development that will positively impact our state’s economy for years to come,” Gov. Parson said. “The Show-Me State stands out as a rising technology hub due to our strategic location, skilled workforce and prime business climate. This unprecedented investment signals Missouri is open for business and that our state is a prime destination for high-tech leaders and innovators alike.”

The announcement officially ended speculation about one of the largest developments in the region. Meta’s nearly one million-square-foot data center will be in Kansas City, just south of Smithville. Named Project Velvet, it will involve an investment of more than $800 million and create up to 100 jobs. Completion is expected in 2024 with Turner Construction as the contractor.

The site is located within an even larger, 800-plus-acre data center complex that straddles the Clay-Platte County line and named Golden Plains Technology Park. The local developer is Diode Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Black & Veatch headquartered in Overland Park. Black & Veatch, BNIM and Olsson & Associates are among the local businesses supporting the development, according to the Diode website.

Golden Plains will include three zones of data center facilities to support the growing demand for data, cloud and other hosting services. The facilities will house large networks of computer servers for remote storage, processing or distribution of large amounts of data. Mammoth data centers like Golden Plains Technology Park can be multi-user or dedicated to a single, large use.

The complex will require a number of high-paying information technology (IT) positions. In addition to IT jobs that are required for the data center, other businesses are expected to grow or expand in the region to support the center.

‍Golden Plains has previously announced the center will not be just a collection of warehouse buildings. It plans to maintain most of the existing tree lines that naturally subdivide the property into three zones, and attractive fencing will border the site where appropriate. The natural barriers that exist will be improved to provide scenic screening for both client and neighbor privacy. It is intended that the view onto the site from most vantage points on private property will not change. 

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