“When Switch completes their build out in Lithia Springs, the market will change significantly” | Local Insiders Discuss Future of ATL Data Center Market

ATLANTA, GA The first panel at CAPRE’s Fourth Annual Greater Atlanta Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Summit on August 15 was a lively roundtable discussion titled State of the Greater Atlanta Data Center Market: Analysis of Demand-Supply and Emergence of New Debt and Equity Capital Sources featuring five storied industry leaders offering first-rate analysis about the lay of the land in Atlanta.

Moderator Jeff Ivey of Strategic Development for CPG kicked off the discussion with a pretty direct question. “What is the state of the Atlanta data center market and what trends are you seeing over the next couple of years, with [expected] triple market growth and very low rates in terms of vacancy?” he asked the panel of experts.

First to offer a response was Jake Ring, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of GIGA Data Centers, who situated Atlanta’s recent performance with that of its most notable neighbors. “Well I guess the targets in Dallas have been 40 MW of absorption over the last 4-5 years, consistently. Of course we’ve seen Northern Virginia explode,” he began. “And so it’s been good to see Atlanta finally get some of its share. It has all the hallmarks of a location that should be a data center hub – clearly a Tier I market. So it’s good to see. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing how much absorption actually take places. With the fin-tech companies and organizations, I would hope there would be more utilization out there.”

Bob Kramlich, Vice President – Atlanta, Ascent Data Center

Next, Bob Kramlich, Vice President for Atlanta at Ascent Data Centers, offered his take on Atlanta, but instead zoomed for a closer look at the Peach City. “I think we’re seeing different sub-markets. You’ve got Lithia Springs, you’ve got Alpharetta, you’ve got the downtown markets — each one is a little bit different,” he replied.

“I think what we’re seeing in Atlanta is, maybe a cooling down period, but I think it’s right before the big stuff starts coming in. When Switch completes their build out in Lithia Springs, I think the market is going to change significantly,” predicted Kramlich. “Right now, a lot of the hyperscalers are looking for 10-20 megawatts that they can take down at any given time – there’s just not that kind of inventory in Atlanta right now. We’ll see, once we get a little bit more inventory in the market, whether that really drives the demand in Atlanta.” 

Finally, the last panelist to provide insight on this question was Timothy Kiser, owner of Kiser Consulting and formerly the owner of Colo Atl, a JT Communications Company. “Well, regarding Bob has said, I’ll it’s finally come to fruition,” he chuckled, before explaining why he’s been waiting for so long for such positive news.

“You know, Atlanta’s always had what I like to call, the last spot. We had all the inter-connectivity from down south, from Columbia next to us down to now Jacksonville, with a direct path to Atlanta. We [can go] across the pond, to Europe, and we’ve got a direct path up to Ashburn and New York, we’ve got a direct shot to Dallas and to One Wilshire out in L.A., and up north to Chicago and to the Westin [Building Exchange],” he listed.

“What Atlanta has…is more dark fiber connectivity, and what I’m really happy to see is that it is going out to more rural areas. It’s not just downtown,” beamed Kiser. “Look at Flexential, they’ve been successful. Big data centers are coming. If you go out into the rural areas you can find tax incentives now. It’s a growing market, and Atlanta is just a great place to be.”

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