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DC BLOX commits $785m to huge data center campus in Alabama

12 Jul 18

DC BLOX has announced plans for the launch of a new data center facility in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Atlanta-based data center and cloud services at the edge provider plans to use the form Trinity Steel site in downtown Birmingham (27-acres) to construct a campus that it says will drive the connected digital economy in Birmingham and Alabama as a whole.

According to DC BLOX, the investment has the potential to be worth $785 million over the next decade.

Alabama Governer Kay Ivey is excited by the prospects the data center will bring to the area.

“The significant investment being made by DC BLOX to open this data center in Birmingham will not only create high-paying jobs, but also bring an exciting new chapter to a neighborhood in the city with a long industrial history,” says Ivey.

“We’re committed to positioning Alabama for a technology-focused future and look forward to working with the company to accelerate that process.”

The company will be employing the same modular design and lean construction techniques that are currently being used for another DC BLOX data centre in the midst of construction in Huntsville, Alabama.

Groundbreaking of the multi-tenant facility in Birmingham will begin August 2018 with Phase 1 delivering 31,000 square feet and configurable up to 5MW of customer capacity by early 2019.

“The Birmingham data center campus will unquestionably be our flagship property, capable of scaling to over 200,000 square feet of secure, government-grade data center space,” says DC BLOX CEO Jeff Uphues.

“We believe this site will be a highly compelling alternative in the Southeast to Atlanta for enterprise, hyperscale cloud, Software-as-a-Service, government, network and content providers. It’s our focus to create a multi-purpose innovation campus with collaborative workspaces worthy of housing global technology companies and academia dedicated to research and collaboration.”

The facility will be joining DC BLOX’s Atlanta, Hunstville and Chattanooga sites on the company’s high-speed and high-capacity private optical network.

Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington is confident the data center will attract future business to the area.

“DC BLOX will be a tremendous asset to the existing companies throughout Jefferson County and a tool to attract new companies here. This takes Birmingham’s thriving innovation ecosystem beyond its usual physical boundaries of the city center and extends it into an area that will only strengthen our core,” says Carrington.

Birmingham Mayor Randal Woodfin shares these sentiments.

“The City of Birmingham was proud to work with DC BLOX to bring this significant data center project to Birmingham. In addition to utilizing a long-vacant property in our city and transforming the surrounding neighborhood, this will serve as the company’s flagship data center and a tool to attract further business to the area,” says Woodfin.

DC BLOX settled on Birmingham in the third quarter 2017, and since then has been scouting for suitable real estate.

“DC BLOX wanted to be in Birmingham because of its strong local economy, geographic location, fiber optic network connectivity and the University of Alabama at Birmingham,” says DC BLOX COO Mark Masi.

“We are thankful to the City of Birmingham, Jefferson County and the State of Alabama for collaborating with DC BLOX on this project.”

According to analysis prepared by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Culverhouse College of Business at the University of Alabama, the estimated economic impact of this massive project during the construction and operational phase is $94 million on the Birmingham metropolitan area, $80 million of which will be in Jefferson County.

“The $785 million investment over the next 10 years to build this data center technology campus represents the single largest project investment in Jefferson County in many years,” says BBVA Compass East Region CEO and 2018 Chairman of the Birmingham Business Alliance Lee Smith.

“As with any successful economic development project, a great team worked together with the company to ensure its needs are met and that the project is mutually beneficial to the company, community and state.”

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