Colocation provider Switch and Data (NASDAQ: SDXC) recently agreed to be acquired by Equinix (EQIX). Today the company is outlining plans to build out a large data center in downtown Atlanta. What's up with that?
The construction project is moving forward because the Atlanta market figures in Equinix' expansion plans. Atlanta is one of the five cities Equinix identified as key expansion markets where its existing customers are looking for colocation space and interconnection opportunities. Equinix doesn't currently operate any facilities in Atlanta, but Switch and Data has a data center at the city's primary carrier hotel at 56 Marietta, as well as the expansion space it leased last year at 180 Peachtree Street .
The presence at 56 Marietta provides the network connectivity that is central to the Equinix business model, while the 79,000 square feet of space at Peachtree Street adds the larger footprint typical of Equinix' big-city approach. Switch and Data will interconnect the new site to its 27,000 square foot data center at 56 Marietta, providing immediate access to multiple network service providers. It will also offer its PAIX Internet exchange service in its Peachtree site
180 Peachtree is an 8-story, 658,000 square foot building built in 1927. The building was bought in 2000 by Taconic Investment Partners, which invested $24 million to adapt the facility’s upper floors for telecom and data centers use. Level 3 expanded its operations at 180 Peachtree in 2003 after Macy’s closed its store on the lower levels of the building. Taconic sold the building in March 2007 to Peachtree Carnegie LLC, which recently leased the former Macy’s space on the lower three floors to 180 Peachtree Retail Group, a partnership of Atlanta investors.
The site will be built out in phases, Switch and Data said. Phase one will provide space for 500 cabinets and is expected to open in the third quarter of 2010. The site will yield a total of 1,450 cabinet equivalents when all phases are complete.
"Our Atlanta market expansion builds on our plan to help our customers accelerate their Internet-centric businesses with high performance and availability," said Ernie Sampera, Senior Vice President and CMO for Switch and Data