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Why Cologix is Buying Two Data Centers in Stormy Florida

National Data Center

A little wind and rain isn't stopping Cologix from boosting its presence in the Tier 2 market of Florida. Its latest two buys are both high enough and strong enough to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. (Not that they are challenging you, Mother Nature.)


Cologix purchased Colo5's facilities in Jacksonville and Lakeland for an undisclosed sum. The two facilites give the firm more than 225k SF of colo space in Florida, including land for expansion in Jacksonville. It's part of Cologix's continued effort to beef up in Tier 2 markets, says Cologix's Graham Williams. Now its total reach encompasses eight markets, more than 500k SF of data center space, and more than 850 customers. 


While this is Cologix's ninth acquisition (the Lakeland facility here), Graham tells us that's not the only way the company plans to grow. “We're also spending a lot of energy building new data centers in our existing markets to support our organic growth,” he says. So far, its in the process of expanding in Minneapolis on the heels of expansions in Vancouver, Dallas, and Montreal.


And second-tier markets (like Jacksonville here) is where Cologix plans to comfortably stay, Graham tells us. “It's awfully hard to break in" and be competitive in a market like NY or Chicago, he says. "We think those markets are overdone.” And second-tier markets are showing stronger growth now as well, he says. Aside from some cost savings, customers from Miami, Orlando and Tampa are also viewing cities like Jacksonville and Lakeland as safer harbors from violent weather. Jacksonville's facility is rated to withstand a Class 5 hurricane, and Lakeland is 200 feet above sea level. “In a horror story where water is up to 15 stories in Tampa, that water isn't even on our doorstep in Lakeland,” he says.