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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Hillwood, T5 get wired: North Texas becoming data-centered

North Texas is becoming a hub for data centers. Dallas-Fort Worth has risen to second place with 22 megawatts of absorption in the first half of 2017, compared with 42 megawatts of absorption in the Northern Virginia market, according to a new report from CBRE Research.

The 22 megawatts of absorption in the D-FW area account for about a quarter of all absorption in the country’s top seven data center markets in the first half of the year.

According to the report, there are 10 data centers with 47 megawatts of power under construction in D-FW. The first phases of the projects are being built on speculation, which indicates the strength of the market, according to the CBRE report. While North Texas has an active market, Northern Virginia has 119 megawatts of projects in the pipeline and Chicago has 41.

But there’s more movement afoot. Hillwood announced Oct. 10 that it is partnering with data center owner and operator T5 Data Centers of Atlanta to develop a data center campus within AllianceTexas.

The T5@Alliance campus will be a scaled opportunity for the data center market, according to a news release from Hillwood. AllianceTexas has initially dedicated 350-400 acres of its master plan specifically for data centers. The massive pad sites with the infrastructure necessary to ensure uninterrupted power, telecommunications and operations provide the foundation for T5 to build enterprise-scale, customized data centers that meet customers’ requirements. At full build-out, the development will be capable of delivering 400-plus megawatts of dedicated critical power, which replicates the current capacity of the entire Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace, according to the news release.

“Cloud and hyperscale data center users are looking for locations that can offer a growth pathway, incentives, resiliency and speed to operation, all with low costs. T5@Alliance offers a perfect combination of these critical requirements,” said Pete Marin, president and CEO of T5. “This partnership with Hillwood and IPI Partners brings together a highly experienced team ready to deliver hyperscale campuses for discerning data center customers.”

Development of the T5@Alliance data center campus is backed by IPI Data Center Partners Management LLC, which invests in data centers and other technology and connectivity-related real assets and is sponsored by ICONIQ Capital LLC and an affiliate of Iron Point Partners LLC.

“Rapid growth in Fort Worth is catching the attention of large technology companies like Facebook and is reinforcing AllianceTexas’ position as a premier destination for data centers,” said Mike Berry, president of Hillwood, which developed AllianceTexas. “With highly acclaimed data centers already developed in eight major markets across the United States, T5 and IPI Partners are ideal partners for expediting the evolution of AllianceTexas as a large-scale data center destination. This partnership will allow us to quickly deliver even more data center campuses to the growing number of customers who want to more efficiently serve North Texas and the broader market.”

AllianceTexas is served by two transmission sources, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative and Oncor, that come together at the same location to provide power independently with transmission-level redundancy, an important factor for data centers.

Four substations exist at AllianceTexas and locations have been identified for multiple additional substations, which enhance redundancy opportunities for development sites.

Multiple long-haul and domestic fiber providers are also in place throughout AllianceTexas.

Fort Worth provides the development’s water service. The water system was designed and built to provide critical redundancy, with interconnections between three transmission water mains.

“The partners share the same vision for providing customers with customized data center solutions, making this a great opportunity to leverage our capabilities and resources to support the growing demands of co-location, enterprise and hyperscale users across the region,” said Reid Goetz, vice president of Hillwood.

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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