Metro Atlanta’s status as data center hub continues with 2 big projects

Latest data center proposals would combine for 4.5 million square feet of storage warehouses
This is a T5 data center in Chicago, which was completed in 2018, according to a news release at the time from the company.

Credit: T5

Credit: T5

This is a T5 data center in Chicago, which was completed in 2018, according to a news release at the time from the company.

The Atlanta area is poised to get two more sprawling data center campuses, which would add to the region’s growing status as the Southeast’s premier hub for online storage farms.

One project proposed by developer Taylor & Mathis would feature a four-building campus in Douglas County, while developer T5 envisions a seven-building campus in Coweta County. The projects were detailed in Development Regional Impact (DRI) filings submitted to their respective regional planning agencies.

The projects join several other large data centers in development across metro Atlanta, which ranks as the sixth-largest market for such server farms in the country, according to real estate services firm CBRE. Data centers are effectively giant warehouses filled with rows of computer equipment that house our online lives and information.

The industry is also going through an unprecedented expansion, ending the first half of the year with a record amount of data center space under construction. In a report last month, CBRE analysts wrote that “strong demand and developer appetite continue to drive new construction” across the data center industry despite high interest rates and a tight lending market that has caused other real estate types, especially office projects, to stall.

A DRI filing by Taylor & Mathis detailed the developer’s preliminary plans for a 74-acre plot along Rock House Road near the border between Douglas and Cobb counties. DRIs are required infrastructure studies for large projects that will affect more than one jurisdiction.

The proposal includes nearly 1.5 million square feet of data storage space, which is estimated to be complete by 2028. The filing does not include an estimated build-out value for the project. Taylor & Mathis did not respond to requests for comment.

T5, which operates a data center campus in Douglas, recently filed a DRI for another project in Coweta County along Weldon and Palmetto Tyrone roads. The 3 million-square-foot project would span across a roughly 200-acre site and is projected to be complete in 2030, according to the filing. T5, which also did not respond to requests for comment, estimates the project is worth $1.5 billion.

Since late August, three other large data center projects have either been proposed or gained traction across metro Atlanta.

Vantage Data Centers filed a DRI for a 1.7-million-square-foot complex in Douglasville. Switch submitted plans for a 405,000-square-foot data center in Bartow County. And Edged Energy received a $32 million property tax break for a proposed data center campus at a former West Atlanta rail yard from the Development Authority of Fulton County last month.

Industry experts measure data centers by their production capabilities in megawatts, which were not disclosed for the two projects pitched last week. At the end of June, the entire Atlanta market had an inventory of 271 megawatts, a 21.5-megawatt increase from the same time last year. The city ranks behind Virginia ― by far the country’s data center hub ― as well as Dallas, Silicon Valley, Chicago and Phoenix.

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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

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