The data center industry has a new player with deep pockets and an experienced management team.
EdgeCore Internet Real Estate launched today, and outlined ambitious plans to build large data center campuses in six North American markets. The new company is led by former CoreSite CEO and Tom Ray, and its lead financial backer is GIC, the sovereign wealth fund for the government of Singapore.
EdgeCore has already acquired land in Mesa, Arizona for its first data center campus, and said it is close to securing properties in Reno, Nevada and Richardson, Texas. The company is launching with more than $800 million of equity, which it will leverage to invest $2 billion in data center development, the company said.
The data center industry has historically had a high barrier to entry, requiring significant capital and experience to succeed. The entrance of EdgeCore illustrates how the success and maturity of the data center industry is changing the equation. Leading operators have delivered strong financial performance, attracting new investors from around the globe. The availability of experienced executive teams creates the potential for new entrants to have game-changing impact.
As an example, EdgeCore says that by the end of 2018 it intends to have facilities operating in its first three markets, and campuses under construction in three additional locations. The company says it has the capital to develop more than 1 gigawatt of data center capacity.[clickToTweet tweet=”EdgeCore says it has the capital to develop more than 1 gigawatt of data center capacity.” quote=”EdgeCore says it has the capital to develop more than 1 gigawatt of data center capacity.”]
“As a long-term value investor, we believe the secular growth in data consumption and public cloud usage will generate attractive returns in the data center sector,” said Lee Kok Sun, Chief Investment Officer of GIC Real Estate.
A Veteran Team in Place
GIC’s financial partners include Denver-based Mount Elbert Capital Partners and OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds. Mount Elbert is led by Ray, who will be the chairman and CEO of EdgeCore.
Ray is one of the most experienced executives in the data center sector. As a managing director at The Carlyle Group, in 2001 Ray helped create the CRG West colocation business, which later became CoreSite and went public through an IPO. He retired as CEO of CoreSite in 2016.
Ray’s history is particularly relevant to EdgeCore, as he has experience working with large institutional investors to build a national data center platform.
“We are pleased and honored to join forces with GIC and OPTrust, which we view as two of the world’s most capable and sophisticated investors,” said Ray. “We are excited to execute upon our shared vision of creating a scalable North American data center platform and we look forward to expanding with GIC and OPTrust as we work to grow EdgeCore Internet Real Estate beyond our initial roll out.”
EdgeCore’s entire management team worked with Ray at CoreSite. They bring experience in site acquisition, data center design and construction, and financial planning and analysis.
The company plans to deploy more than 3 million square feet of data center space and 615 megawatts of critical power capacity in large cloud campuses in its three initial markets.
- Mesa, Arizona: EdgeCore says it has property in the Elliot Road Technology Corridor and with an on-site substation designed to deliver 280 MW of utility power. The campus will support 225 MW of critical load across 1.25 million square feet of data centers. Construction on EdgeCore’s Mesa Campus will commence in Q1 of 2018 with substantial completion of the initial capacity in Q4 of 2018.
- Richardson, Texas: EdgeCore’s Dallas Data Center Campus is planned to support 165 MW of critical load across 900,000 square feet of new data centers. The first building will be 180,000 square feet and support 32 MW of critical load. The company plans five buildings on the campus in Richardson, which is also home to a major campus for Digital Realty.
- Reno, Nevada: The new EdgeCore campus is planned for the Tahoe-Reno Indsutrial Corridor, where Switch and Google are already working on huge data center campuses. EdgeCore plans an on-site substation to support 225 MW of critical load across 1 million square feet of data center space.
“The company plans to commence construction on each campus immediately upon acquisition,” said EdgeCore. “With each campus designed to deliver between 100 MW and 200 MW of critical power to customers, the Company plans to complete the first building in these markets in late 2018. Additionally, in the second quarter of this year the company intends to pursue acquiring land in three complementary Tier I markets, with a view toward commencing construction on each campus within the year.”