Business booms after Facebook plants roots in New Mexico town



February 8, 2019

Note: This story originally appeared on KOAT.com.

If you ask anyone in the Village of Los Lunas where to find the best burger in town, chances are they will say at Benny’s. “Our burgers are double meat, double cheese, guacamole, green chile, mustard, pickles, onions, tomatoes lettuce,” owner Jeannie Gonzales said.

Gonzales and her family have owned two restaurant locations for nearly 50 years. She says since construction on the Facebook data center began in 2016, workers have been flocking there for the famous food. “With all people coming in, it is always nice with the construction,” she said

On top of the 1,200 construction workers a day the project brings to Los Lunas, new businesses are also in place to set up shop. “We’ve seen a spike in retail attraction to the Village of Los Lunas, our building footprint permit has gone up” Economic Development Manager Ralph L. Mims said.

While there is reportedly going to be about 50 to 100 employees within the actual center, there will be hundreds of more jobs like security, landscaping, and maintenance.

Los Lunas beat out 110 other cities in the country to be Facebook’s newest home, which has put it on the radar of other tech companies. “Data centers, data center suppliers that want to cluster next to a recognized company like Facebook,” said Mims.

For business owners like Gonzales, the data center is just the beginning. “We’re always excited, we are always excited about growth here in Los Lunas-because with growth comes more business,” she said.

The official opening of the data center was on Thursday.