Data centre startup AirTrunk is gearing to expand its footprint in Sydney, with $216 million plans for a second facility in Lane Cove West.
The private company has proposed a four-storey data centre on a vacant site spanning nearly 4 hectares at 1 Sirius Road, in the north-shore suburb.
The facility’s proposed gross floor area will cover more than 34,000 square metres across 19 data halls, of 1330 square metres each.
Office space will occupy almost 4000 square metres.
The state-significant development forms part of AirTrunk’s Asia-Pacific growth plans.
The data centre developer and operator raised $850 million in 2018 to fund a major expansion of its Australian data centres in Sydney and Melbourne.
More recently AirTrunk raised a further $S450 million ($470 million) in April to build its first data centre in Singapore, which is due to be operational in mid-2020.
The company’s first data centre opened in Sydney’s Huntingwood in 2017, followed soon after by another in Melbourne’s Derrimut.
Planning documents say that the Lane Cove West site “would be able to accommodate the proposed development both commercially and from an operational standpoint”, being close to road networks including Epping Road and the M2 Motorway, as well as public bus routes.
Secure data storage “is not necessarily feasible” in commercial locations such as the CBD, planning documents noted.
AirTrunk declined to comment on the proposal.
The site is owned by Rove Estate, which sought to rezone the property during the apartment boom in 2015 from light industrial use to mixed use, accommodating up to 900 dwellings.
That application was not approved and the owners went on to list the property for sale in mid-2018, before finding a buyer. AirTrunk is undertaking due diligence to acquire the vacant land for about $50 million.
The agents handling the sale, Savills’ Michael Brislane, and Geoff Hunt and Peter Mangraviti from CBRE, declined to comment.
Up to 100 full-time jobs are expected to be created from the proposed development, ranging from data centre management staff, data centre engineers, maintenance technicians and security personnel.
Data centres have seen a steady uptick in demand, with many businesses opting for cloud computing to offload pressures from rising volumes of data and in-house storage.
The sector in Australia has grown by 12.2 per cent annually in the past five years and is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, according to the latest research from IBISWorld.
AirTrunk is not the only data centre provider active on the north shore. Competitor NextDC purchased a 1.25 hectare site at Lot 6, 219-247 Pacific Highway, Artarmon, for $90 million last year.
Closer to the city, Nasdaq-listed Equinix is set to open its eighth data centre, SY5, in Alexandria in the third quarter of 2019.
Keep up with Commercial Real Estate news.