STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Golden Triangle Development LINK and C Spire unveiled plans Thursday to build a new, state-of-the-art $22 million data center in Northeast Mississippi that will offer businesses a full suite of cloud solutions to help them manage mission-critical data, infrastructure and enterprise applications.
The new 22,400-square-foot center will be located on a 6.5-acre site at the sprawling Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park in Starkville, Mississippi. C Spire plans to break ground on the new facility next month and complete construction on the initial phase in November 2014, when the first customers are expected to begin using the center.
“Now, more than ever before, businesses need to intelligently manage their data and critical operational processes to handle the explosive growth of mobile, Internet and corporate-based data demands through cloud-based solutions,” said Kevin Hankins, COO for C Spire, citing recent trends that show data center IP traffic is continuing to grow at an annual rate of 31 percent. “Business is not going to the cloud. Business has gone to the cloud.”
The announcement was made during a news conference attended by local, regional and state government officials, business leaders and economic developers, who cited benefits from construction activities and new jobs as well as the center’s ability to attract new business investment and growth.
“We’re excited about adding a world-class data center to the arsenal of tools that we use to recruit new business and encourage existing companies to expand in Mississippi,” said Brent Christensen, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. “C Spire’s $20 million investment in a Tier III class data center enables us to continue our strong commitment to provide businesses with access to best-in-class, industry leading colocation, cloud and managed-hosting services.”
Local officials in Starkville and Oktibbeha County, who provided tax incentives to support the project, said construction and operation of the facility is the largest private sector investment in the region’s history. “This is a great first step for Starkville in building a strong economic future,” said Joey Deason, COO of the Golden Triangle Development LINK and Economic Developer for Oktibbeha County. “This is an outstanding business environment and we’re excited to welcome C Spire as a new member of our community.”
Along with its location in a low-risk geographic zone, the center boasts direct access to C Spire’s ring-protected fiber network and will be managed 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days a year by the company’s locally-based, award-winning IT staff. C Spire has been named to InformationWeek 500’s top technology innovators list for two years in row.
General contractor for the data center project is Brasfield and Gorrie, LLC of Birmingham. Architects are Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. of Atlanta, Piper O’Brien Herr of Alpharetta, Georgia and Dale Partners in Jackson, Mississippi. Civil engineering services for the center will be provided by Pritchard Engineering in Starkville, Mississippi.
The LINK is the regional economic development organization for Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties. Located in northeast Mississippi, the LINK’s current record of investment totals $4.2 billion and 5,600 jobs over 10 years.