An affiliate of Morgan Stanley has bought land in Franklin Township, N.J. for a backup data center for the New York-based financial services firm. Morgan Stanley Management Services II Inc. paid $12.3 million to purchase 17 acres of land from the J.G. Petrucci Company.
Morgan Stanley's project has been in the works for two years, and will join several other data center projects in the area bordering Rutgers University in central New Jersey. The Bank of New York also has a data center in Franklin Township, while Savvis Inc. (SVVS) and AT&T (T) have facilities in Piscataway.
In 2006 Morgan Stanley gained approvals from Franklin Township for a 330,000 square foot data center, and also arranged for $106 million in structured financing from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). It's not clear why Morgan Stanley delayed purchasing the property for another 18 months.
"We purchased this land in 2004 with the intent of developing it as an industrial facility," Greg Rogerson, principal of J.G. Petrucci Co., said in a press release. "Subsequent due diligence discovered a redundant and reliable power source available, making it suitable for an operations support facility. Franklin Township's proximity to Manhattan and the abundance of fiber infrastructure enhanced the property's appeal."
The New Jersey data center market has been active this year, driven by demand from New York financial institutions. While data center activity has traditionally been strongest in northern New Jersey, the center of the state is seeing a building boom. Digital Realty Trust (DLR) built a facility in Piscataway last year, and developers are pursuing a large data center campus in Old Bridge.