The Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) recognized Dakota Electric Association and the city of Eagan for their work in attracting national data center provider, DataBank, at the ‘Excellence in Economic Development Awards’ ceremony held on January 22 in Brooklyn Park.
The DataBank project was selected as the ‘2015 Business Recruitment Project of the Year’ not only for the immediate benefits of the project in terms of capital investment and job creation, but also because of the long-term benefits to business development and the state and regional economy.
DataBank, a national provider of data center, managed services and cloud solutions, broke ground in the closing months of 2014 on a $49 million site renovation in Eagan, Minn. The building, scheduled to open early this spring, is undergoing a series of physical and mechanical augmentations to become the region’s premier multi-tenant data center. The facility will employ roughly 40 people and will function as a second ‘carrier-hotel’ peering location for telecommunications companies to route traffic throughout the upper Midwest.
“Both carrier availability and power diversity played a big role in our site selection for this data center facility,” said Tim Moore, DataBank’s CEO. “Throughout the process Dakota Electric, Great River Energy and AccessEagan partnered with us to see this project become a reality. We have the utmost confidence in all of them to deliver the robust network access, flexibility and reliability demands we require to deploy a flagship multi-tenant data center in this region.”
DataBank’s decision to locate in Eagan was due in large part to the city’s ‘AccessEagan’ fiber network. The 17-mile wholesale fiber optic network was deployed by the city and is available to all broadband and telecommunications providers. AccessEagan was established as part of ongoing efforts over the last 10 years to broaden both fiber availability and redundancy and also to foster price competition. Stimulating a greater choice of service providers for area businesses was coupled with the city’s strategy of attracting a world class data center that would help the region avoid any single point of broadband failure.
“We were very pleased that EDAM selected the DataBank project for this award,” said Dakota Electric Economic Development Director Mark Lofthus. “This one project will help to expand business development opportunities throughout the region for many years to come.”
“Working with such excellent partners like Dakota Electric and Great River Energy, we were able to get this deal done,” said Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire, who noted the city found in DataBank a quality company that could deliver on a shared vision.
EDAM is a professional association of leading economic developers in the state of Minnesota and provides development professionals a forum for exchanging information and staying abreast of current economic development strategies and practices.