American Express Vacating Massive Minneapolis Data Center


Colliers is marketing this site in Minneapolis, which currently houses an American Express data center.

American Express is vacating a massive 541,000 square foot data center in Minneapolis, which will soon be up for sale, according to local media.

The building is currently fully leased to American Express through 2014, but the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal discovered Colliers International brokers are listing the property with no disclosed price so far. A sale could provide an opportunity for providers eyeing the Minneapolis market, which has been among the most active regional data center markets over the past year.

The data center is an eight-story building located at 1001 Third Ave S. near the Minneapolis Convention Center.  It’s currently designed to support 5.4 megawatts of critical power and has a total of around 150,000 square feet of raised floor space, making it one of the largest blocks of raised floor in Minneapolis. The building is also in close proximity to the 511 Building, the city’s major interconnection hub.

Mainframe Heritage

The American Express site was originally a mainframe and print operations facility built in 1988 for IDS. American Express sold the data center in 2004 as part of a sale-leaseback transaction to Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust. The lease to American Express was for a 10-year term, which is up now. That includes six five-year options (which apparently aren’t being taken).

Such a large facility potentially turning into a multi-tenant site, should a provider be interested, would mean a potential major consolidation point for data center space in Minneapolis given its size and close proximity to the major interconnection hub.

There’s been a wealth of multi-tenant provider activity in the region as of late. Cologix has been expanding rapidly in 511 11th Avenue. Stream Data Centers is building a 75,000 square foot data center in a southwest suburb (which just received Tier III certification from the Uptime Institute), Viawest has a 150,000 square foot build, and other providers include DataBank, Compass Datacenters and Digital Realty Trust all making moves in the bustling Minnesota market. The data center might very well go to an enterprise once again, but that hasn’t been the trend. If a colocation provider is looking to enter the Minneapolis market in a big way, this building should be of interest.

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About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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  1. At 36 watts a foot, that will require a significant retrofit to get to 5x the density at a minimum, with no tenant. That said, the Twin Cities could use another carrier hotel that could manage with lower density for a while and generate rent while an anchor tenant was sought.