Virginia Beach continues to build a data center ecosystem around its cable landing site. Telecom consultants Assured Communications Advisors International (ACA International) have announced plans to invest $52 million to open a 130,000-square-foot data center in Virginia Beach. The company is purchasing a 10.2-acre site in Corporate Landing Business Park from the Virginia Beach Development Authority for $2.04 million.
The company will build a 130,000-square-foot facility that will house its new corporate headquarter offices, a tier III data center providing neutral co-location services and also serve as the cable landing station for future subsea telecommunications cables. ACA International will also create 30 jobs with average annual salaries of $59,000. Completion is anticipated in 4th quarter of 2019.
The arrival of two major subsea cables – MAREA from Europe and BRUSA from Brazil – has made Virginia Beach a focal point for interest in cable landings for data center development. ACA International has previously worked on both undersea cable projects and global expansions for telecom providers, and sees Virginia Beach as a growth market.
“Virginia Beach is the new center for coastal continental edge ultra-high speed global telecommunications on the East Coast with new connectivity options being developed connecting Europe, Africa, and LATAM,” said Joel Ogren, president and CEO for ACA International. “The city, especially the Economic Development Department, has been extremely proactive in creating the framework to take advantage of the next stage of global digital infrastructure. The future of cities depends on their ability to connect globally as efficiently and effectively as possible, and Virginia Beach is now on par with other top tier cities around the world.”
Ogren is also a board director at NextVN, a Dutch company that has announced plans to create a large data center park in Virginia Beach. The company is a developer that buys land and handles licensing, permitting, zoning and power and fiber infrastructure to prepare the parcels for data center tenants.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority has awarded ACA International an Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $500,000 based on the company’s planned capital investment.
“Virginia Beach has captured the world’s attention with the fastest subsea data cables installed by Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius,” said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. “Businesses in Virginia Beach can reach customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America more quickly and efficiently than from anywhere else in the world. Additional cables are being planned and will be announced later this year that will provide even more incentives to establish data centers in Virginia Beach.”
Virginia Beach is a great place to examine this question. It’s a city of about 450,000 residents in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, with an economy dominated by beach tourism and the large military community around the U.S. Navy port in nearby Norfolk. In December, Virginia Beach slashed its tax rate on computers and data center equipment to $0.40 per $100 of assessed value, matching a reduced rate established in Henrico County last year.
The city’s development efforts are focused on Corporate Landing Business Park, a 325-acre, Class A, mixed-use park with ultra-high-speed network infrastructure, available fiber access hubs, and a cable landing station. The park has been approved for streamlined permitting processes and flexible business assistance programs.
Telefonica/Telxius, which is an investor in both the MAREA cable and the new BRUSA cable from Brazil to Virginia Beach, is building a 20,000 square foot data center on 3.5 acres of land in the Corporate Landing Business Park in Virginia Beach.
Globalinx Data Centers is building a carrier-neutral meet-me-point at a data center campus in close proximity to the Telxius Cable Landing Station (CLS) in Virginia Beach.
Blockchain company BCause will create a bitcoin facility in an 84,000 square foot facility in Virginia Beach, located next a Dominion Energy substation.