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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

DeKalb County Has Record Capital Investment; Facebook Outlines Community Initiatives

DeKalb County saw record levels of investment and development in 2020.

That’s according to the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation. Executive Director Paul Borek highlighted this at a “State of the County” event on Thursday.

“DeKalb County attracted nearly $975 million of capital investment in 2020. Nearly a billion dollars.”  

The biggest drivers of this investment are Facebook and Ferrara Candy Company, which are building facilities of their own in the Chicago West Business Center south of DeKalb. The investment shattered the previous record of around $400 million in 2009. That was during the development of the NextEra Florida Power and Light Wind Farm.

Borek said other areas also improved. 

“This investment will result in the construction or leasing of over 3 million square feet of space. This is the highest total since 2004.”

Credit Facebook
A rendering of Facebook's planned data center.

Facebook announced it's making a $10,000 donation to the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Members Assistance Fund. Facebook Community Development Regional Manager Matt Sexton explained. 

“Next month, we will be members in earnest with DCEDC and the Chamber and look forward to strengthening and building partnerships across the county next year and in years to come.”

The company also plans to set up a series of Community Action Grants.

“This program supports grants on an annual basis for local education groups and nonprofits that are either supporting STEM education, working with technology to benefit the community -- or more broadly -- connecting the community, either online or off," Sexton said. 

Facebook is building a large data center south of DeKalb. It will be one of 13 in the United States, and is expected to open in 2022.