NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) — Construction is in early progress at the site of the eventual Intel semiconductor fabrication plants in New Albany, but a number of technology companies continue to buy swaths of surrounding land in the business park the chipmaker is calling home. 

At least two companies forked over tens of millions of dollars in January for future projects, according to Licking County auditor’s records.

Amazon Data Services

In mid-January, Amazon Data Services bought close to 400 acres of land at three connected plots along Beech Road touching the Franklin County border. The purchases came out to more than $116 million, according to auditor’s records. 

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency wetland permit applications — submitted by MBJ Holdings in November — detail proposals for sizable data centers with more than two dozen buildings on the same parcels of land along Beech Road. 

If the project is greenlit, construction could begin as soon as April, according to the application documents. The Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing and information session at 6 p.m. Monday in Pataskala about developing the wetlands. 

A spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment on the Jan. 17 purchases or any plans for it. The e-commerce and IT management company previously bought 112 acres for $21 million in 2020 along Beech Road.

DBT Data New Albany

Around the same timeframe, between Jan. 17 and Jan. 20, a company listed as DBT Data New Albany purchased 16 bordering parcels of land, totaling a little over 82 acres and costing a little more than $23 million. 

In August, a Washington D.C.-based developer — DBT-Data — bought 93 acres just to the east of those more recently bought parcels, and south of Intel’s construction site, for its first Ohio-based project, according to a news release. 

DBT-Data said it planned to build 1 million square feet worth of data center facilities on the plot of land touching Clover Valley Road, Jug Street, and Mink Street.

DBT-Data could not be reached for comment last week.

A spokesperson for The New Albany Company — a real estate developer with a portfolio of projects that includes the New Albany International Business Park — was not able to comment on whether the two companies that share nearly identical names were affiliated, because the parcels were not purchased directly from the developer.

But Tom Rubey, director of development at The New Albany Company, said a combination of elements has supported efforts at growing central Ohio’s technology sector.

“Through strategic planning, public and private collaboration, and investment in infrastructure, the New Albany International Business Park has grown to over 21,000 jobs with many more to come,” Rubey wrote in an email statement.

Data centers grow in central Ohio

Even before Intel’s announcement last January that it would pursue a $20 billion computer chip manufacturing mega-site in New Albany, the presence of the technology industry ballooned in central Ohio through data centers. 

Amazon already boasts several in the region, including in New Albany. Other tech behemoths, such as Google and Facebook parent Meta, have also invested to expand their data center footprints in Columbus and surrounding suburbs. Google was poised to benefit from more than $54 million in tax breaks for constructing a data center on South High Street.