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Cousins Plans Major Expansion in Atlanta

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The exterior of 250 Williams Street in Atlanta, which is being renovated to add another 170,000 square feet of potential data center space. (Photo: Cousins Properties)

One of downtown Atlanta’s technology facilities is expanding its mission-critical space to make room for additional data center tenants. Cousins Properties is renovating more than 170,000 square feet of office space at 250 Williams Street, also known as the American Cancer Society Center, for use by data center tenants.

The redevelopment expands the range of options available to service providers and enterprises seeking data center space in downtown Atlanta. The downtown market also includes 56 Marietta (Telx), 55 Marietta, 180 Peachtree (which was just purchased by Carter Validus REIT) and the massive QTS Downtown Technology Center.

250 Williams is a 1 million square foot property that once housed the headquarters of the 1996 Olympic Games. Data center tenants including Internap and InComm currently occupy about 127,000 square feet of space in the building. There are 27 fiber providers in the building, including Cogent, Comcast, AT&T, FiberLight, Level 3 , Teleport Communications, Time Warner Telecom, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Colliers Will Seek Data Center Tenants

The new space at 250 Williams is being offered as powered shell space, requiring additional construction for conversion into working data center space. To attract new tenants, Cousins (NYSE: CUZ) has hired Colliers Technology Solutions. The Colliers team is led by Tim Huffman, executive vice president and global director of the technology division, who has lengthy experience in data centers and managed services.

The nine-story Cousins building was built by John Portman & Associates, and opened in 1989 as a “computer mart” used by IBM and HP to display products. It later became Class A offices for BellSouth. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games chose the building for its headquarters, since it is located across the street from Centennial Olympic Park, the nexus of entertainment venues for the Games.

250 Williams is on the Georgia Power Fowler Network underground grid system, and currently has 18 megawatts of power supporting the building, with about 8 megawatts available. There are 17 generators currently, with the ability to add up to 10 more. More than 63,000 gallons of diesel fuel is stored on site, with the ability to add another 60,000 gallons of capacity. The building can support IT operations with a 100‐pound floor load per square foot, 12 to 14 foot ceiling heights, and multiple freight elevators and loading docks.

Cousins Properties actively invests in office and retail development projects. Since its founding in 1958, Cousins has developed 20 million square feet of office space, 20 million square feet of retail space, more than 3,500 multi‐family units and more than 60 single‐family neighborhoods.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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