The search is on for an anchor tenant for that would be located along Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan.
Five 9s Digital CEO Doug Hollidge is hopeful that the North Carolina-based company, which will develop and own the data center, can land an anchor tenant within the next 60 days. If that happens, Five 9s will likely submit a formal development proposal for the facility to city staff. Construction on the facility could begin in the third quarter of 2012 and is expected to take seven months to complete, Hollidge said.
“We have a considerable interest and the process with the development is that we need to take the interest from the current level ... to an actual anchor tenant," Five 9s CEO Doug Hollidge said earlier this week.
Five 9s is one of three firms involved in the development of the Connexion. Minneapolis-based financial and professional services firm Jones Lang LaSalle is serving as the project manager and brokerage team. Another company, XO Communications, is responsible for the development of an alternate Southern long haul fiber route which will connect the facility to a transwestern fiber link in Kansas City, Mo. In addition, McGough General Contractors will construct the data center.
The data center, also known as a colocation facility, will be open to all telecommunications and internet service providers, as well as local and regional companies needing offsite data storage or disaster recovery options. The building could house as few as three or many as eight tenants, Hollidge said, depending on the space needs of each client. Total private investment in the facility is expected to range from $50 million to $80 million dollars, Hollidge added.
The Connexion will also address what is perceived as a single-point-of-failure issue facing the region, officials said. Most of the Twin Cities' data traffic currently flows through one building—the 511 Building in downtown Minneapolis. City spokesperson Tom Garrison said the Connexion will provide an alternative point of entry, adding some redundancy to the region's data flow.
Once Five 9s submits its development proposal to the city, it will go through a staff review process before being submitted to the Eagan City Council for review. All development proposals submitted to the city include elevation and site layout drawings, utility plans, access and parking plans and a variety of other information, according to Eagan City Planner Mike Ridley.
In conjunction with the data center development, Eagan officials are laying a 17-mile fiber loop within the city that will likely connect to the facility, once the Connexion is complete. The fiber loop, which the city plans to lease out to providers, would be available for use by the business community in Eagan, Garrison said.
The fiber loop was paid for without the use of taxpayer dollars, Garrison said. Instead, funding was drawn entirely from tower lease revenues, franchise funds and other alternative sources.