A distinctive ultra-secure “data bunker” near Houston, Texas is announcing a major expansion that will eventually add 100,000 square feet of data center space and another 330,000 square feet of office space for business continuity operations. Montgomery Westland, previously known as the Westlin Bunker, will break ground today on the first phase of its expansion. The site is located in Montgomery, Texas, about 40 miles from downtown Houston.
The Montgomery Westland property was initially built by Ling-Chieh Kung, a nephew of Chiang Kai-shek and founder of Westlin Oil. Fearing a nuclear war, the reclusive Kung built a 40,000 square foot underground facility from reinforced concrete, along with a 100,000 square foot office building. After Kung’s oil company collapsed, the facility stood vacant for years before it was converted to data center use in 2004.
Business was slow initially, but surged in 2005 after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, prompting Houston-area businesses to seek disaster-proof data center space. Current tenants include Continental Airlines, ExpressJet, Anadarko, The Houston Chronicle and 11 local county governments. The facility was profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 2006, and has also been featured on ABC News.
The property is now owned by Montgomery LP, an investment partnership consisting of Today Realty Advisors and Pudge Properties, two Dallas firms with a combined 40 years of real estate development experience that own or manage more than $1 billion in properties.
The Montgomery Westland campus is unusual in that it provides firms with a full service solution including data center space, operations space to support business continuity and disaster recovery, and access to housing at the nearby Del Lago resort on Lake Conroe. In the event of a loss of a primary work site, clients can relocate their key personnel and families to the campus to continue their operations.
The expansion plans announced today include four above-ground secured buildings along with two additional underground data centers to complement the bunker. In total, 330,000 square feet of additional office recovery space is being added along with 50,000 square feet in each additional bunker. The entire campus has redundant connections to Internet backbones as well as satellite connectivity.