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LightEdge Opens Underground Data Center at SubTropolis

LightEdge Opens Underground Data Center at SubTropolis

A new data center in Kansas City is going underground, with support from two high-profile investors. LightEdge Solutions, which is owned by Qwest founder Phil Anschitz, will add a regional data center at SubTropolis, the underground business park operated by the Lamar Hunt family.


An illustration of the plans for the entry area of the new LightEdge data center within SubTropolis, an underground business park in Kansas City (Photo: LightEdge)

A new data center in Kansas City is going underground, with support from two high-profile investors. Colocation and cloud computing specialist LightEdge Solutions will add a regional data center at the underground SubTropolis Technology Center (STC) in Kansas City.

LightEdge will be the anchor tenant in the first phase of STC, a mission critical data center campus owned and operated by Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development. LightEdge is owned by Qwest founder Phil Anschutz, and Hunt Midwest is one of multiple entities owned by the Lamar Hunt family.

“The relationship between LightEdge and Hunt Midwest translates into the convergence of financial strength, best-in-class hosted IT services, experience with hybrid cloud environments, a highly secure and protected location, and low kW power costs compared to other areas of the U.S.,” said Jim Masterson, chief executive officer of LightEdge Solutions.

Underground Business Park, With Room to Grow

SubTropolis is an underground facility built in a former limestone mine near Kansas City, offering more than 5 million square feet of space. The facility’s tenant mix is focused in the warehouse and distribution sector and record storage. But Hunt Midwest believes the natural cooling provied by SubTropolis will be attractive to data center operators as well.

LightEdge will be the first tenant, and plans to open the first phase of its 60,000-square foot underground operation, built to Tier III Standards, within STC during the first quarter of 2014. LightEdge will be STC’s first provide colocation and managed services provider for small and mid-sized companies looking for cage, rack and suite floor space.

In addition, LightEdge will use a portion of STC’s six-acre equipment yard located on the exterior surface of the property. LightEdge Chief Security Officer Travis Thompson said the company will put two 600 kW and two 1.5 MW generators in the six acre yard space, with expansion capability as the LightEdge data center grows. LightEdge will also be placing two chillers initially.

First Tenant as Launchpad

With LightEdge’s “proof of concept,” Hunt Midwest will market STC to government agencies and larger enterprise users who want to operate their own data centers.

SubTropolis features evenly spaced pillars with 40-foot clearance and 16-foot high ceilings. Millions of square feet are available for  expansion.

“In the more than 20 years I’ve been involved in data center development and operations, I’ve never seen a property more appropriate for a data center,” said James deVenny, a data center consultant who previously was co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Dataside.

“This is an ideal partnership,” said Ora Reynolds, president of Hunt Midwest. “Together, Hunt Midwest and LightEdge have all of the pieces needed to create a world-class data center.”

STC is served by KCP&L, with two diverse substations and 161 kV transmission lines on the property. The raised-floor facility will use Liebert CRAH and UPS and diesel generators providing support for 1.5 megawatts of critical power.

“Hunt Midwest and LightEdge are creating a best-in-class data center infrastructure that will offer a great combination of redundancy and capacity,” said Chuck Caisley, vice president of marketing and public affairs for KCP&L. “The robust electric transmission and distribution network – with multiple substations in the area and proximity to our generating station – directly supports the needs of the technology industry."

Here's an illustration of what LightEdge and Hunt Midwest expect the finished space to look like:


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