A look at the developer of Fayette’s first data center

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A data center employee checks a bank of servers in a routine maintenance operation. Photo/QTS website.
A data center employee checks a bank of servers in a routine maintenance operation. Photo/QTS website.

Data center provider Quality Technology Services (QTS) has purchased 600 acres on Fayetteville’s west side as the site of a planned data center.

Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, QTS currently owns and operates 28 data center locations in 11 U.S. states, along with two facilities in the Netherlands, spanning more than 7 million sq. ft., according to QTS.

Specific development and site plans for the Fayetteville campus situated between Ga. Highway 54, Veterans Parkway and Tyrone Road will be announced at a later date.

The annexation and rezoning of the final 412 acres for the project on the city’s west side was approved unanimously by the Fayetteville City Council on June 30. The balance of the 600-acre site purchased by QTS was part of the approximately 1,200 acres annexed into the city on Aug. 1, 2013.

The June 30 council meeting dealt only with the annexation and rezoning. Development plans such as site plans and internal roadways will come at a later date and will require approval by the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission.

With 200 acres along Hwy. 54/Veterans Parkway previously rezoned and annexed for business park development, the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) more recently optioned the entire 600 acres from multiple landowners to market as one large competitive site, according to FCDA.

QTS will begin the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process required by the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, followed by the submission of development plans to the city.

“With the data center world evolving rapidly, Quality Technology Services (QTS) is committed to providing hardened, redundant, flexible and scalable hybrid colocation and hyperscale data center solutions powered by our innovative software-defined data centers and network services,” the QTS website said.

Though specific plans for the Fayetteville site are currently unannounced, it was noted on the company’s website that QTS builds, owns and operates data centers that are engineered from the ground-up to be eco-friendly, secure, highly redundant and energy-efficient.

Among its environmental goals, QTS said it aims to procure 100 percent of its power from renewable energy sources, pursue green building certifications in 100 percent of its facilities by 2025, conserve at least 15 million gallons of water per year, recycle 90 percent of operational waste by 2025 and install electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations at 75 percent its facilities by 2025.

 

QTS on its website citing its core values noted something that is becoming less obvious today in some areas of corporate America. While it mentioned honorable, principled behavior, it mentioned something else worth noting – “We Stand for America.”

The explanation of that stance was stated as – “Dedicated to the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, Law Enforcement Agencies, and Fire Emergency Services Personnel for their devotion, service and sacrifice that enables our freedom and safety. We pray God continues to bless this country and protect the brave men and women who choose to serve and defend it.”

The path that led to the current purchase of the 600-acre business park property by QTS Fayetteville 1, LLC, began six years ago, during which time FCDA led strategic initiatives to enhance Fayette County’s competitiveness and success in attracting high-value projects, FCDA said. The idea of acquiring high-tech companies and jobs is something each of the county’s municipalities has reiterated.

The final step occurred June 30 when the remaining 412 acres situated on the northeast quadrant of Hwy. 54 and Tyrone Road and extending to Flat Creek Trail was annexed and rezoned by the Fayetteville City Council.

FCDA six years ago identified target industries for a business park based on a number of factors. Among those were:

Company sustainability, resiliency and the ability to withstand a recession

The quality of jobs the company will create

Tax revenue generation to balance the tax digest

The environmental impact of operations

The impact of infrastructure and the community

Industry diversification – bring in new industries to mitigate risk to the local economy in the event of an economic downturn or change in legislation

A QTS data center in Chicago, Ill. Photo/QTS website.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Jim, outside of the construction and build-out of the data center, I would not expect the data center to have a significant impact on traffic. I’ve been to their facilities in Suwanee and downtown Atlanta which occupies what was the old Sears Distribution facility many times. Most of the volume will be repair technicians going to the facilities.

    It should also be relatively clean in terms of environment impact to the area (unlike a manufacturing facility, or ) If this is like their other facilities here in Georgia, they will need a storage for diesel fuel for their emergency generators which could be of some concern. They will also likely need significant fiber connectivity to their other facilities and major internet nodes. This might be a plus for some. Water runoff could also present some infrastructure challenges to the city/county, and it could generate significant revenue for city/county.

    It could also be a harbinger for the area, as the facility in Suwanee was once considered rural.

    I have mixed emotions as to this deal. But for traffic, I’m more concerned about the Tesla dealership on 85 than I am QTS. Unfortunately the corridor on 54 between Fayetteville and Peachtree City will continue to develop adding to the nightmare at 74.

    As a disclosure, I was a stock holder of QTS before they were bought up by Black Rock Investments and taken private. They are known for promoting environmentally friendly businesses in investing.

  2. And that, is what I get to look at out my front door. We just purchased this home on Flat Creek against my gut feeling that we needed to stay out of Fayette county. Seems I was right. Thank you Fayetteville and the County for devaluing my new home and hiding the fact that the acreage across the road, zoned R-70 was in the process of being changed to something far different. Had I known this was in the works I would definitely have not purchased this home in this county. Where is the “study” on the impact this will have on the surrounding property owners? You seem to be more concerned with the swamps than the people already here.