New York could land one of the US’s (and world) largest data center campus
Over 40 buildings are set to be demolished to give way to data hub covering more than 2.6 million sqf of land with site works set to start in June.
The fight for the largest data centre campus is about to heat up in the US as a State of New York’s town board is preparing to sell a large piece of land to an unknown data centre developer.
Located 32 Km from lower Manhattan, the town of Orangetown, in the Rockland county, is readying the sale of 60 acres to a “single-user data centre developer”.
At more than 2,600,000 sqf, the campus located at the former Rockland Psychiatric Center, would make it straight to the Top 10 largest campus in the world falling short to other hubs run by companies such as Switch Supernap.
However, the first phase of the project could see a building measuring ‘only’ 150,000 sqf built at the centre of the state.
The administration of Orangetown said both the price for the land and the buyer’s name will remain undisclosed for now. An announcement is expected on February 7.
Nevertheless, this is set to be a large development topping several millions of dollars. If the total area is used, it could easily top over $1bn in investment if compared to similar projects in the US.
Orangetown’s Town Hall supervisor Andrew Stewart, unveiled the cost associated with soil abatement and demolition of the more than 40 buildings currently erected at the site alone would top $40m.
Stewart said: “Myself and the town council feel strongly that data centres are a great fit for this site – they generate very little traffic and they pay taxes.
“High density housing is not acceptable due to tax and school impacts, and very few businesses can afford the $40m estimated cost of abatement and demolition at this site.
“Since time is money, to get this deal I worked with town staff to create a very aggressive review and approval process that, if all goes well, will yield final site plan approval by the Planning Board on June 14, demolition in July and construction beginning in November.”
The operator who buys the land will be taking over one of the locations where Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” series has been partially filmed. The Rockland Psychiatric Center is also notorious for its paranormal activity.
RPC-Office Park to see works starting soon
The unknown data centre provider has, on January 31, presented to the town council its project for the site.
In a statement, the council said: “The site plan shows a large building roughly centred in the “core” area of the town’s RPC land, a 60 acre parcel bounded by Convent Road on the north, Oak Street on the south, and lying between First and Third Avenues.”
The peripheral roads and avenues are set to remain open to public use, however, others inside the piece of land will be closed. This includes Second Avenue and Maple Street.
The Town Board will discuss proposed zoning, to be called “RPC-Office Park”, the terms of sale and the approval process.
At its meeting on February 7, the Town Board will commence a state-mandated SEQRA review on the sale of public land and adoption of zoning for the site, including setting a public hearing on these actions for March 14.
The Town Broad says it is confident the data centre project will get the final go ahead in the coming weeks.
Demolition works are expected to start in mid-June, and construction of the data centre campus could break ground between July 2017 and early 2018.
Stewart said: “Weeks ago, the applicant told me their proposal hinged in part on the town providing a pathway to approval by the end of June.
“We provided that roadmap and set of deadlines for submission of complete plans. Orangetown is “all hands on deck” for this project, and I am very impressed with the professionalism and intensity of the applicant’s teamwork as well.
“Working together we can get this done and finally turn the corner on the RPC site.”
New data centre joins growing hub
The mega-data centre campus yet to be unveiled follows from other large developments in and around the Orangetown area that directly compete with operators across the state’s border in New Jersey.
Two of the biggest projects in the last few years include a 232,000 sqf, 24MW data centre by 1547 Critical Systems Realty opened in Orangeburg in 2015.
Bloomberg LP has also opened a site in the town with investment topping $710m to be build a 131,805 sqf data centre.
Colocation company Green House Data has also opened a data centre in the area with 20,000 sqf of white space and 2 MW of power.
Many of the data centre builds in Orangetown have been given extended tax breaks and sales tax incentives by the Rockland County Industrial Authority.
Green House Data has also explained that when it chose to set a base in the region, the safety from floods and hurricanes played a major part.
The closeness to New York City, one of the most digital intensive cities in the world and home to the New York Stock Exchange, is also a driver for operators to build in Orangetown.
The area is has also seen in recent years an investment in fiber infrastructure and electricity grids.