State reviewing massive Fayetteville data center plans

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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.

The state review process expected to lead to the development of a massive data center on Fayetteville’s west side, totaling 7 million sq. ft. on 615 acres, has begun. The state-mandated process is required prior to the proposal coming before the city’s planning commission.

A project of Quality Technology Services (QTS), plans call for the 615-acre site to include 16 buildings totaling 7 million sq. ft. of data center and office space. Each building is proposed at up to 440,000 sq. ft., of which 25,000 sq. ft. is designated as office space, according to the state-required Development of Regional Impact (DRI) document.

The DRI submission calls for the QTS data center buildings to be two 2-story structures, though the document noted that two of the buildings, to be situated closer to Ga. Highway 54, could be either 2-story or 3-story.

The submission includes a proposed 1,420 parking spaces for the 16 buildings, or approximately 89 spaces per building to be used by data center employees and customers.

Plans show the property accessible from Hwy. 54 and from Tyrone Road. An “emergency access only” driveway is shown off Flat Creek Trail.

The project completion date, at full build-out, was listed for 2032.

Fayette data center site plan. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Fayette data center site plan. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.

Commenting on the project, Fayetteville Director of Community and Economic Development David Rast said the project is viewed as one phase, though the expectation is to have the southside of the campus, the area fronting Hwy. 54 West and extending to Tyrone Road, constructed first.

The state-required DRI process will take several months and will be heard by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.

The Pre-Review/Methodology document was submitted by the city earlier this month.

The full DRI package, which includes the transportation analysis and site plan, will be submitted by Nov. 7. The process is expected to be completed by Dec. 19.

From that point, likely in early 2023, the project will begin the local process before the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission.

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.

The path that led to the purchase of the 615-acre business park property by QTS Fayetteville 1, LLC, began six years ago, during which time Fayette County Development Authority 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.

A portion of the current QTS acreage, along with other property totaling 1,200 acres, was annexed into the city on Aug. 1, 2013.

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.

“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.

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.

1 COMMENT

  1. I sincerely hope the people of Fayetteville will have more of a say in preventing this from going forward than they had at the recent county commissioners meeting to rezone property on Sandy Creek Rd for a massive auto dealership. I have written to Senator Warnock regarding this to procure any help he might offer. This would be a huge detriment to our community and quality of life and will not bring jobs of a high tech nature as data centers do not need many employees. The construction process will be a great traffic problem on the local roads to bring in heavy equipment. Property values adjacent to it will go down drastically. The recent county commissioners meeting was a slap in the face of legacy residents, whose property values will also decrease due to the building of a 40 acre auto dealership. Something does not feel right about all of this. Do I smell graft?