In recent months Orangeburg, New York has become a hotbed of data center activity. In addition to our own 1 Ramland facility, financial media giant Bloomberg L.P. has announced that it has begun to build a $710 million data center just a few blocks from our property.
So, why the sudden upsurge of activity in the data center space in a county that is some 25 miles distant from “The City?” What could this suburban location possibly offer that could rival the convenience, amenities and technology infrastructure found in Manhattan?
In a single word: economics.
As a company we’re constantly on the lookout for tenant-driven data center opportunities and markets with long-term upside. These are very much non-traditional locations. However, while they aren’t necessarily proven, they are among the most promising.
Of course, it also helps when communities, their economic development groups as well as their utilities offer incentives to locate our data centers there.
In the Bloomberg example and as detailed in this article, those incentives proved substantial including those offered through the Rockland County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) which helped coordinate the financial incentives to attract the project. Things like:
- The Pearl River School District approving a 12-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) with the development group.
- Approval by the Orangetown Council of an important easement that was a key part of the process for the development to proceed.
- A 20% discount off normal delivery rates for new or expanding business customers adding at least 100 KW demand to the electric system through the Orange & Rockland Utilities Economic Development program. O&R also offers up to 70% off installation of energy efficient lighting and equipment through its “Lighten Up” program and up to 50% off customized efficiency programs through its “Big Energy Solutions” programs.
(Note: in the case of the Orangeburg site, the property is adjacent to a utility substation supplied by subterranean 138kV transmission lines in a ring bus configuration. Up to four 13kV circuits are available to the property, supplied directly from the substation with a capacity of up to 10 megawatts per circuit, for a total utility capacity of 40 megawattts). In fact, many, if not all of these programs are available to prospective tenants in the 1 Ramland site facility. Additional Rockland IDA incentives are detailed at: www.redc.org/new/ida/incentives
That’s not to discount, of course, those attributes that are not directly translatable to economics.
For example, Orangeburg is just 15 miles northwest of the George Washington Bridge. As part of Rockland County it’s a major crossroads with easy access to interstate highways and all tri-state airports. Additionally, Rockland County’s current median family income is nationally ranked in the Top 10 on the list of highest income counties by median household income.
What this means for you, our customers, is that our approach to selecting data center sites is not solely dependent on the pipes, infrastructure and technique we provide to deliver great data center sites that satisfy all your colocation needs. It’s also precisely aligned to each community’s economic, population and cultural profile. And finally, our holistic approach is a true reflection of our concept to completion ethos, one we feel best serves the long-range plans and business outcomes of each and every tenant.
It’s also no wonder then, for us at least, why Orange is the New Green.