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DEAL OF THE YEAR: Facebook Newton Data Center receives regional award
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Gov. Nathan Deal recognizes the JDA and their efforts to close the Facebook Newton Data Center deal. - photo by Submitted Photo

ATLANTA, Ga. – Earlier this year, the world’s largest social media site announced its investment into Georgia, through the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties. Monday, the negotiations of that deal were recognized by the Georgia Economic Developers Association as the Regional Deal of the Year. 

The Facebook Newton Data Center, which will invest $42 billion dollars into the Newton County portion of Stanton Springs, will provide 250 new jobs to the area once completed. 

“The Facebook project was one like any other,” Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County, said. “With a total of 26 company visits to the state of Georgia, it truly was a team effort. “

Short thanked the JDA members, local community leaders, state officials and his “partner in crime” Serra Hall, senior project manager for the Covington/Newton County Office of Economic Development.

“I could not have worked through this project if it had not been for Serra Hall,” he said. “Serra really worked with me day, night and weekend to make this project happen. We spent approximately 80 percent of our time on that project during the course of one year.

“As you can see, it was truly a team effort to make this deal happen.”

GEDA is in its 12th year of recognizing major projects as part of its annual awards ceremony. The Deal of the Year awards recognize outstanding achievement in the location or expansion of new business in the state of Georgia that meet community economic development goals and involve significant community program support, such as financial or permitting assistance, workforce development, state financial support and more. 

“This award means so much not only for our community but also for our region,” Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes said. “Being named Deal of the Year is a true testament that our community is headed in the right direction as evident with being able to land a project such as Facebook.

“We believe Facebook, along with the 2012 Deal of the Year, Shire, is going to make a tremendous difference in our region as an economic development driving force.”