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Any takers? Apple puts doomed Athenry data centre site up for sale

Written by Mon 14 Oct 2019

The tech giant originally planned to build an €850m data centre on the site

The seemingly never ending saga of Apple’s proposed €850m data centre in Athenry has taken another twist.

According to a report in The Times, the 500-acre site is being advertised for sale in the US and Ireland as a “ready-to-go data centre development site” named Data Hub West. The sales brochures advertising the plot do not disclose an asking price or Apple as the site’s owners.

The Times reached out to American agent Binswanger Global and Irish agent Maguire Chartered Surveyors for comment, but neither responded. 

Half decade drama

The ill fated project began in 2014 when Apple started looking for a plot for a new Irish data centre, which is an increasingly popular data centre hub due to its low corporate tax framework. The tech giant is reported to have paid state forestry agency Coillte around €15m for the site, located in Co. Galway. 

Soon after Apple unveiled plans for the data centre in February 2015, the company faced backlash from local residents and experts, who criticised the proposed facility’s power requirements and potential impact on local wildlife

Apple received planning permission from the council approval board in August 2016, a decision subjected to a High Court challenge from two residents, and later to the Supreme Court when the challenge was dismissed.

Apple became so frustrated with the drawn out judiciary process that it scrapped the project entirely last year. But as Ireland’s Supreme Court dismissed the residents’ appeal, the site is still available for development should a buyer wish to buy the land. But given the history of the doomed project, the Athenry site might be a tough sell.

Written by Mon 14 Oct 2019

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