Neighbor for Google

Land buyers are now looking through their fingers

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11.07.2024 11:20

16 years after buying the land in the Kronstorf-Hargelsberg industrial estate (Upper Austria), Google has so far left few traces behind. While doubts about whether the tech giant will ever build the data center are growing louder, the tactics for further company settlements on the still vacant 20-hectare site have changed.

"Austria is not exactly attractive for investment at the moment," wrote one. "That will never happen," another was certain. There was a heated debate on krone.at recently because, even 16 years after the purchase of the site, it is still not really clear when and if the tech giant will ever build a data center in the Kronstorf-Hargelsberg business park.

"From the outside, you might think that nothing is happening," says Christian Kolarik, the mayor of Kronstorf. However, he and Christoph Lichtenauer, the mayor of Hargelsberg, are able to counter critics by pointing out that all investments made are at Google's expense due to agreements: A lot has already been done for the infrastructure in particular, and Netz OÖ also built a transformer station.

Hargelsberg's village head Christoph Lichtenauer (left) and Kronstorf's mayor Christian Kolarik (Bild: Wenzel Markus)
Hargelsberg's village head Christoph Lichtenauer (left) and Kronstorf's mayor Christian Kolarik

However, the never-ending story surrounding Google has led to a change in strategy: A buyer is no longer being sought for the remaining 20 hectares of the company building site.

"There are always interested parties"
"There is only one building right left," says Kolarik. This means that the land remains the property of the Kronstorf-Hargelsberg industrial estate, and a company could then use the site for up to 99 years. Is anything already in the pipeline? "There are always interested parties, we are in good talks," says Kolarik. There is plenty of speculation, and the name Amazon keeps coming up.

Fixed: rear derailleur will be upgraded 
One thing is certain: because the green light has been given to upgrade the electricity grid to 220 kilovolts in the central region of Upper Austria, the existing substation in the district of Winkling will become a transformer station. Construction is due to start in July.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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