Oregon’s latest land rush for homes is for the sites of data centers, those pulsing centers of digital information used by companies like Amazon and Facebook to store your emails and cat photos.
Facebook and Apple are already in Prineville and may soon expand there. Amazon has a cluster of data centers in Morrow County, near Boardman. Google recently built a third data center in The Dalles. And Hillsboro is home to a cluster of data center operators, including ViaWest and Infomart.
These operations aren’t large job creators, but they do provide technology jobs with big-name companies in outposts far from corporate headquarters. And the jobs may be staked above local norms, as in Google’s deal to pay salaries averaging 150 percent of the local average. And that leads to this week’s gallery.
What if you sold your house for cash in Cupertino, where Trulia says the average price per square foot of recently sold homes is $872, and took a job in Prineville, where the average is $102 per square foot? You’d be house-rich. Maybe you’d realize your dream of owning your own swath of high desert.
In this gallery, you’ll see a range of possibilities, including a view parcel with cherry orchards in The Dalles — although it needs a new house — a new tract house in Hermiston that sold at roughly half the price it would bring in Portland, a bank-owned, not-quite-finished house on 35 acres in Crook County and an Orenco Station condo in Hillsboro. There’s even a house in Hillsboro that probably wouldn’t draw a second look from the street, but sits on three acres with an in-ground pool.