Go West?

If you were to map out the major data center activity in Atlanta (trust me. I’ve done this.) you’d see a big cluster in midtown, a scattering of facilities heading due north up the GA400 corridor and another big cluster in the Alpharetta/Windward Parkway area.  Other northern ‘burbs also have some very strong activity.  (I’m talking about you Suwanee, Johns Creek and Marietta!)  There is little doubt that the geographic center of Atlanta data center activity is on the north side. 

So, I was a little surprised last week when a customer asked me to “go west” of town to look at a site for a potential new data center.  I found myself way out in Carroll County, Georgia.  It turns out that there’s a new technology park nearing completion off the GA166 highway.  Known as Buffalo Creek, the park is a collaborative effort between the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and a public/private partnership called Carroll Tomorrow.

There are a number of features that make this site potentially a good one for data center development:

  • Cheap land
  • Cheap power
  • Cheap, plentiful water
  • Area not prone to natural disasters
  • Equal distance between Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL
  • Dual electric substations
  • Two fiber backbones (SONET and Internet2)
  • Job and Investment Tax Credits
  • Local government eager to work with technology developers
  • Pad ready sites from 2 acres to 12 acres

In recent years, the Carroll County Chamber and Carroll Tomorrow have been doing a good job spurring technology investment in the area.  They have successfully lured an Airtran Airways call center, Southwire Co. and retail data center newcomer, Fogo Data Centers has set up shop in Carrollton.

It’s a small step but the technology center of Atlanta may have just shifted a smidge to the left.

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