The Sherman Economic Development Corp. closed a deal Friday that could ultimately bring a capital investment of more than $1 billion and 150 high-paying jobs to Sherman over the next five years.

(Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.)

The Sherman Economic Development Corp. closed a deal Friday that could ultimately bring a capital investment of more than $1 billion and 150 high-paying jobs to Sherman over the next five years.

The SEDCO board of directors approved a contract to sell around 90 percent of Sherman’s Progress Park I to Thea Development LLC in order to develop the infrastructure for five data centers in the area. Cassini Gateway I, as the data center development will be known, will be able to accommodate more than 1 million square feet of independently-owned data centers. Thea Development CEO Margie Guido explained the data centers her company is targeting contain computer servers that hold information for the internet.

“So every time you do a Google search or you save your information to the cloud or you watch a Netflix movie, you’re hitting a data center somewhere,” Guido said. “The industry is growing rapidly and this area has a lot of great resources and we believe it’s very, very attractive for data centers.”

SEDCO President John Plotnik explained Thea Development plans to build one data center building a year for the next five years and each of those will be about a $200 million facility. He said the jobs created by the data centers will likely have an average wage of $80,000-$90,000 a year.

“So at the end of five years, they’ll have $1 billion in new buildings at that value,” Plotnik said. “In addition, they’re going to be building a very large substation, as well as redundancy power. These data centers, they rely on power, they rely on water for cooling and they rely on an available site that is close to available gas and power.”

The planned location of Cassini Gateway I in Progress Park, which is on the south side of Sherman, will be adjacent to the 758 megawatt Panda Sherman Power Plant.

“Panda provides a lot of wonderful opportunities,” Guido said. “It’s a brand new plant. And they also have the ability to expand their generation. It just provides more opportunity than a data center just going out somewhere and trying to connect to the grid.”

Plotnik said Thea Development will pay around $1.84 million for the 48 acres of land as each was appraised at about $40,000 an acre.

“We develop that land to use it to bring in companies that create value and jobs for the city of Sherman,” Plotnik said.

The SEDCO board approved the contract unanimously after a lengthy discussion during a closed executive session. Following the approval, Guido and SEDCO board Chairman Greg Kirkpatrick both said they were excited about the deal.

“We look forward to hearing updates very soon,” Kirkpatrick said.