Several years after we first heard about the idea, there will be a celebration near the end of this month to officially announce an anchor tenant and new purpose for the old Fort Hill Building near Downtown Knoxville – housing the region’s first Tier III data center.
Butch Smith, Founder of Smith & Hammaker and now Chief Executive Officer of SH Data Technologies, says the new facility “will be the cornerstone of a broader strategy to technology solutions with unlimited scale.” The data center itself will occupy about 8,000 square feet of the building, and another 33,000 square feet will be available for leasing to other businesses.
It’s clearly being positioned as an economic development play. SH Data Technologies purchased the property in 2014 and has been working with the Knoxville Chamber and East Tennessee Economic Development Agency to position the project as a recruitment tool to attract businesses from outside the community.
“This data center will be Knoxville’s first Tier III data center and will attract businesses from other regional cities outside of Knoxville to use our technology to manage, scale, and protect their highest priority data,” Smith says. “The data center is the first step, but we will also offer disaster recovery, technology integration, and managed-cloud services under the SH Data Technologies brand.”
A critical feature for customers of the new facility is the fact that it will have redundant power feeds.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett are scheduled to join the project’s developers to formally break ground at the future data center site at 4 p.m. EST on Monday, January 29.
To learn more about the plans, read yesterday’s news release (SH Data Technologies).