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Atlanta data center operator commits to major facility in High Point
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Atlanta data center operator commits to major facility in High Point

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A fast-growing information-technology company from Atlanta, DC Blox, committed to building a $305 million multi-tenant data center in High Point on Wednesday.

Though the capital investment will be among the largest in High Point economic history, the jobs impact has been described by High Point officials as “minimal” that could be as few as nine employees.

DC Blox paid $1.5 million to purchase four tracts at or near to 4131 Sheraton Court, according to an April 26 filing with the Guilford County Register of Deeds.

It’s a vacant 14.4-acre site in Piedmont Centre across the street from the Bank of America Corp. call center and near a Polo Ralph Lauren property and N.C. 68.

Jeff Uphues, chief executive of DC Blox, said in a statement that the data center will be at the Tier III level out of four tiers.

A Tier III data center must be able to undergo routine maintenance without a hiccup in operations, including: being able to provide up to 72 hours of protection from power outages through internal sources; and no more than 1.6 hours of downtime per year.

Direct, private access to major public cloud providers and to all carriers across its data center footprint is provided.

According to Phoenixnap.com, companies using Tier III providers are often growing or a business that is larger than the average small to medium business.

Potential customers, according to Uphues, include enterprise businesses, local and state government agencies, higher education institutions, and managed service providers across North Carolina.

The data center “will have major market capabilities, connectivity solutions and highly reliable services to enable effective digital transformation,” Uphues said.

DC Blox’s niche is operating Tier III data centers in markets that have previously lacked such high-caliber facilities.

The company has four data centers in the Southeast: Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala. In September, it announced plans to build a $200-million, 45,000-square-foot facility in Greenville, S.C., where it will have five employees initially.

The company lists on its website plans for 15 more “future location” data centers in the Southeast stretching all the way to New Orleans. On the list are Charlotte and Raleigh.

The DC Blox project surfaced in September when a legal notice placed by Guilford County Board of Commissioners identified the company as considering opening the center in High Point.

In October, the Guilford commissioners and High Point City Council approved local incentives.

Both government groups considered authorizing an incentive equivalent of up to 50% of property tax revenue paid by the company and its clients.

Sandy Dunbeck, interim director of the High Point Economic Development Corp., said the DC Blox project is “the largest capital investment project for High Point” in the past 15 years.

“We are grateful for the company’s confidence in our city and our community.”

Guilford commissioner chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston said he was encouraged that DC Blox “pledged to work to reduce the digital divide in underprivileged areas, provide technology support for non-profits and disadvantaged minority-owned businesses, and foster training and education for tomorrow’s technology workers.”

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@rcraverWSJ

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