DataBank wants to build a new data center in Orangeburg in Rockland County that’s described as a $100 million project. DataBank provides data storage, cloud computing and related technology services using 74 data centers around the U.S. and overseas in France and the United Kingdom. The 200,000-square-foot facility would be the company’s fifth data center in the New York Metro area.
The new data center would be at 2000 Corporate Drive in Orangeburg. The 34-acre property formerly was used by Verizon, which sold it to SKAE Group LLC in 2017 and continued using it under a leaseback arrangement. On Sept. 1, 2021, 2000 Corporate Drive LLC bought the property from SKAE Group LLC. Records on file with the Rockland County Clerk’s Office indicate that the 2021 sale price was $23 million. DataBank is headquartered in Dallas at the same address as is 2000 Corporate Drive LLC.
In addition to the actual data center where computers and banks of equipment to store data would be located, plans show an equipment yard and offices.
The company said that by purchasing the property, which includes a utility-owned substation capable of providing up to 45 megawatts of electric power (a megawatt equals one million watts of electricity), it furthers its strategy of owning and controlling the real estate beneath its data centers, and accelerates the pace at which it can bring online new capacity. DataBank said there is room on the Orangeburg campus to handle future expansion of the facilities, including an additional electrical substation.
“The investment in this new campus responds to the New York City metro area’s need for colocation, connectivity and cloud services, solidifying its status as a prime location for enterprise-class data centers,” said Raul K. Martynek, DataBank’s CEO. “With this acquisition, DataBank will bring to the nation’s largest market both high-value IT operations jobs and the reliable IT infrastructure our customers need to create a limitless digital future for their business.”
DataBank’’s plans for the site have been under review by the Orangeburg Planning Board and are expected to again be discussed by the board at its Jan. 11 meeting. The environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act has not been concluded.
Some neighbors of the site have expressed concerns about noise generation, the validity of an easement that is necessary in order for an emergency access road to be built for the project and plans for a number of trees to be cut down.
One of the neighbors, Dave Rosen, expressed concern that some reference has been made by DataBank to the project having a second phase.
“We really ask the board to consider not including any reference to phase two because it gives the misguided impression that that somehow is an implicit approval or potential approval,” Rosen said. “When and if they’re ready for a phase two proposal and to the extent that they want to make that claim let them make that claim at a future time.”
An attorney hired by a group of neighbors, Holly Schepisi of the law firm O’Toole Scrivo, noted that the estimated cost of the project was $100 million. She said that changes have been made that are not reflected in versions of the site plan currently available to the public and she urged the planning board to make sure that the most current information is available.
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