Behind the Deal: QTS Data Center Transformation
QTS Realty Trust encountered the perfect data center storm when it found the vacant 700k SF former Hitachi semiconductor manufacturing facility in Irving for its first Dallas-area data center.
QTS has done Greenfield projects, but its sweet spot is finding underutilized facilities with massive infrastructure already in place, says QTS site director Travis Wright (in a snow selfie with his family). QTS transformed the facility it purchased in 2013 into a state-of-the-art mega data center on a 40-acre campus, which has the capacity to increase to 1.3M SF. The pros to the site include the massive infrastructure already in place with 240 million pounds of concrete, huge piers that extend 90 feet down to bedrock and huge open halls with no columns, Travis tells us.
The site is also powered by an on-site 140MVA dual-fed substation providing reliable, uninterrupted power and high-density capability, according to Travis (snapped giving a tour at the site’s grand opening in October). Air- and water-cooled chillers housed in a central utility building add increased redundancy and energy efficiency. There are also twin transformers that run in redundant mode and dual underground paths of 138k volt power lines. Some aspects of the transformation create a huge challenge, too, from the environmental cleanup associated with the semiconductor manufacturing.
At full build-out, the space will host 292k SF of white box. A portion of that space is operational now and new tenants are coming on board regularly. The team stays just ahead of the market curve and builds out additional space as needed. The site (a 40-acre campus) has the ability to expand the data center by another 600k SF, Travis tells us. QTS also has 15 acres of greenfield land across the street for future data center space. This is a flagship facility for QTS and Dallas is a long-term investment for the REIT, he says.