What do Orangeburg, New York; Kapolei, Hawaii; and Cheyenne, Wyoming have in common? Fifteenfortyseven Critical Systems Realty (1547) saw tremendous opportunity in each of these very different markets. It's a reflection of 1547's penchant for thinking outside the box on data center location , and looking for tenant-driven data center opportunities in markets that have a huge upside down the road.
The data center industry is a fairly tight knit community, and 1547 arose out of the experience and desires of some of its titans. The company was founded by executives from the data center and financial industries.
- Managing Director Todd Raymond was at Telx, wearing many important hats there such as CEO, President, COO, General Counsel, Controller and a Director. Ultimately, what he wanted to do was focus on acquiring new sites, an expertise he harnessed at Telx prior to its acquisition by GI Partners.
- Co-founder Corey Welp was instrumental in assembling the team. More on the financial side of the pie, he has spent a lifetime building a network of investment advisors, and institutional asset managers, raising more than $4 billion for investment opportunities in various asset classes.
- Co-founders Jerry Martin and Pat Hines were at the Martin Group, which has focused on the data center space for the last decade, including multiple jobs for Telx.
The unique mix of finance and data center construction expertise positions 1547 to take very calculated risks in markets that aren’t necessarily proven, but are among the most promising.
“That’s not to say we wouldn’t look into key markets like Ashburn or Santa Clara,” said Raymond. "But we’re able to go into markets that have the necessary infrastructure in place and look at a facility and tell whether it’s a smart investment.”
1547 offers turn-key, build-to-suit, and powered shell data centers. Turn-key facilities are move-in ready available in multiple kW increments and are even sub-divisible down to a single Power Distribution Unit (PDU) to enable addition of capacity as needed. The team designs, builds and maintains its turnkey operations to ensure high availability and uptime.
The company has a ton of experience in due diligence and finance, insuring that TCO makes sense in markets that make sense. The company works with customers from concept to completion, willing to take the role that is necessary for a particular customer.
The company's approach is reflected in its initial markets, which make clear that 1547 isn’t in the business of following the herd.
The 1547 team was involved in a site selection process, and found a perfect site for a customer in Orangeburg, but it wound up being too large for the customer. However, the site proved to be too attractive a proposition; it was to be the first acquisition of 1547.
Located on 32 acres at 1 Ramland Rd. in Orangeburg, New York, the property is in close proximity to and synchronous with Manhattan, Connecticut, and key facilities in New Jersey. Consisting of 232,000 square feet, 150,000 square feet of data center space, with 6 megawatts on site and 24 megawatts provisioned, it’s a sizeable play in a market the company believes will grow thanks to its proximity to major hubs. More info here
Hawaii Pacific Data
Located in Kapolei, Hawaii and adjacent to the Hawaii Pacific Teleport facility, Hawaii Pacific Data was an interesting move for 1547. There isn’t much news out of Hawaii when it comes to data centers, but 1547 recognized it as a potential key market going forward, given its position between AsiaPac and North America. "We spent the first couple of weeks answering requests for information (RFI) from a variety of content providers," said Raymond. The appeal of caching content for faster delivery is one of the factors that might drive this market. The developer says it's the only multi-tenant carrier neutral data center facility with satellite and subsea fiber backup capabilities in the world. Kapolei is on Oahu, known as the “second city” of the most populous island in relation to Honolulu. The big island is the one with the volcanoes. The poured concrete structure is 2 miles inland and 130 feet above sea level, placing it outside of flood and tsunami zones.
A partnership with Green House Data led to the company's most recent move. "This market was a customer-driven decision for us," said Raymond. "It’s the perfect disaster recovery spot." Data Center Knowledge recently covered the latest market for 1547.
Cheyenne has been in the data center news thanks to projects from Microsoft. State officials looking to court Microsoft meant that several attractive incentives are offered, hoping that Wyoming would turn into a major destination for data centers. It's connectivity, cheap power, and tax incentives are all factors that 1547 found compelling. It turns out that Wyoming makes for a very compelling data center market in the Midwest.
The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, a 171,000 square foot facility housing one of the world's most powerful super computers, and a large EchoStar Broadcasting Corp data center are two major facilities in the area. Cobalt opened a data center there not too long ago.
Customer-Driven Into New and Exciting Markets
An anchor customer usually brings 1547 into a market, and it invests in a way where it has room to grow beyond this initial entrance. So where to next? Given the company likes to be innovators in markets that are unproven yet show enormous potential, the company isn’t saying.
“At any given time, we have 5 or so potential projects," said Raymond. "If I were a betting man, I’d say we’ll have at least two more projects by the end of the year.”
Wherever those next projects pop up, chances are it will be in a location that makes you ask why there isn’t a larger data center market there yet. Customer desire combined with thorough research is what 1547 uses to uncover the next emerging markets.