As it pursues a strategy of converged digital infrastructure spanning multiple companies, DigitalBridge is notable for its ability to quickly deploy capital and capacity. That was on display this week in expansion announcements for DigitalBridge’s flagship data center platforms, DataBank and Vantage Data Centers.
DataBank, which targets the colocation and edge computing markets, is adding capacity at existing campuses in key U.S. markets in Atlanta and Dallas. Vantage, a wholesale data center developer serving hyperscale customers, is building large new data centers to extend its campuses in Frankfurt and Berlin.
The announcements demonstrate the versatility of DigitalBridge, which has used its relationships with the investment community to raise expansion capital, while building experienced operating teams that can deliver new projects across multiple geographies – even in the midst of a global pandemic.
Both data center companies have benefited from DigitalBridge’s ability to line up secured notes to fund future growth. DataBank completed their second securitization this year, issuing $332 million of five-year notes, and all in rate of 2.43%. And Vantage issued $530 million of five-year securitization notes, and all in rate of 2.17%
Strong Leasing in Atlanta Drives DataBank Expansion
DataBank operates in both primary and secondary data center markets. With this week’s announcements, the company has initiated 10 data center expansion projects over the past six months. The company’s growth has accelerated as DigitalBridge has begun using secured notes to raise nearly $1 billion for DataBank to deploy new data center capacity.
Today DataBank said it will add more than 22,000 square feet of data center space to its ATL3 facility in west Atlanta, bringing the total capacity of the site to more than 44,000 SF of white space. The expansion is expected to reach completion in the second quarter of next year.
The expansion is driven by strong leasing activity in the Atlanta market, riven by increases in consumer use of healthcare IT, fintech, logistics, and manufacturing – sectors heavily dependent on strong communications infrastructure.
“We’re excited to add this much-needed capacity to the Atlanta market,” says DataBank Vice President of Construction Tony Qorri. “The construction project will increase the IT capacity of the site from 1.5MW to 6MW, and increase total raised floor space to 72,000 SF. We expect many of our current clients to take advantage of the newly available capacity as the construction carries on.
“We invested in Atlanta when it was viewed as a secondary market, but it is outgrowing that now,” Oorri added. “It’s a top data center market, and we love being in the middle of it.”
The Atlanta expansion comes one day after DataBank unveiled the fourth expansion phase of its DFW3 data center in Plano, a northern suburb of Dallas. The company will add 22,000 square feet of space and 3 megawatts MW of power in two new data halls, with a delivery date of Q2 2022.
Vantage Adds Capacity in Key European Cities
As DataBank builds out its vision for edge computing in North America, Vantage is going global in a huge way. After unveiling a $2 billion entry into Europe in 2020, the company has entered the Asia-Pacific and African markets in 2021.
This week Vantage unveiled follow-on builds to expand in key European markets, breaking ground on second campuses in both Frankfurt and Berlin. In addition, the company opened its first campus in Zurich.
The five-acre (two-hectare) campus in Raunheim in the Frankfurt market will provide 40 megawatts of critical IT capacity and total more than 355,000 square feet (33,000 square meters) once complete. The initial phase of this five-story facility is scheduled for delivery in the fall of 2022.
Vantage is also continuing to develop its flagship Frankfurt campus, located in Offenbach, approximately 30 kilometers from Raunheim. Once fully developed, the two campuses will offer a total of 95MW of IT capacity in the Frankfurt region.
Vantage has also begun construction of a second campus in Berlin. The new 12-acre, two-building campus is located 20 kilometers from Vantage’s first Berlin campus and 10 kilometers from the Brandenburg International Airport, and provide 32MW of critical IT capacity. Both facilities will consist of two stories and feature more than 260,000 square feet (24,000 square meters) combined. The initial phase is scheduled to be operational in the summer of 2022.
Development continues at the company’s first Berlin campus as well. Once fully developed, both campuses will offer 64MW of IT capacity.
“Our new developments in Frankfurt and Berlin are testaments to our significant growth throughout EMEA in less than 24 months in the market,” said Antoine Boniface, president, Vantage EMEA. “Our portfolio now consists of nine campuses throughout EMEA, including our recently announced development in South Africa. Demand from our customers continues to increase in these major economic centers, and our ability to scale quickly ensures our sustainable, state-of-the-art facilities will be ready to meet our customers’ business needs.”
In addition, Vantage recently opened the first of four data centers on its growing Swiss campus sited in Winterthur just 25 kilometers northeast of downtown Zurich. Once fully developed, the seven-acre (three-hectare) campus will offer 40MW of IT capacity to customers.
Investment Strategy Drives Growth
The DigitalBridge investment thesis encompasses everywhere data may travel, from the fiber in the ground to the wireless signals moving across the network to the devices, and just about every type of building along the way where data may be stored or processed.
This is reflected in DigitalBridge’s expansive approach to digital real estate, which includes data center companies like Vantage and DataBank, but also telecom towers, small cells, fiber and edge computing. DigitalBridge works with a range of investors and talent, using multiple vehicles to align investment criteria and business goals. The result is a complex mosaic of companies designed to manage risk and capture targeted opportunities in digital infrastructure.
Driving all of this is DigitalBridge’s investment management operation, which provides structured access to digital infrastructure investment for large investors.
“DigitalBridge has established itself as the partner of choice to institutional capital interested in allocating to the digital infrastructure ecosystem,” CEO Marc Ganzi said in the company’s recent earnings call. “Our second fund just hit 8.1 billion in commitments, almost double our first one and over 35% higher than the original target.”