Data Center Project Planned for Sioux City

A developer wants to convert an empty building in Sioux City, South Dakota into a data center complex.

Developer Bruce DeBolt of San Diego-based Mako One Corp. wants to invest $10 million to overhaul the Badgerow Building, a vacant 12-story historic building in Sioux City, Iowa as a mixed-use facility featuring data centers on three floors. The Badgerow property was built in 1933 and declared unfit for occupancy by the city three years ago. Mako acquired the site for $450,000 earlier this year and has been working on repairs.

DeBolt says Mako and Sioux City officials have reached agreement on a redevelopment plan, in which the city would provide $2 million in loans. The loans would be forgiven if the site reaches 40 percent occupancy, and Mako would agree to a minimum property tax assessment of $10 million by 2011. The tax assessment would ensure that the city recoups its investment over time.

Mako's plan calls for data centers on the building's fifth, sixth and seventh floors. The top five floors, which offer the most scenic views, would be set aside for general offices and IT personnel support. DeBolt told the Sioux City Journal that the Badgerow Building's ample space, access to cheap electricity and robust fiber optic cable would attract corporate data centers from the East and West coasts.

"Data center demand is up and is expected to continue to be up for some time to come," DeBolt told the Journal. "There is tremendous pressure on IT managers to manage their costs. Places with competitive power rates have a distinct advantage. The Midwest has some of the most competitive power rates in the country." He noted Google's move to Council Bluffs, Iowa. "Certainly, Google is not coming to Iowa because of its tropical climate," he said.