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Columbus - An Emerging Data Center Market
Columbus - An Emerging Data Center Market

By Luke Smith · 2/18/2021

Columbus is an emerging data center market, gaining attention from users of all sizes. While the city’s colocation market is relatively small, Columbus has recently started attracting large enterprise users, particularly hyperscale companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google.

Why data center users like Columbus

Columbus is one of the largest cities in the Midwest and acts as an economic hub for the region, with a healthy and diverse economy. Regions with strong economies often generate consistent data center demand, and Columbus is no exception.

The city also offers favorable cost metrics highly attractive to users with large data center needs. While power costs are roughly on-par with the national average, Ohio offers aggressive tax incentives, creating opportunities for millions in savings for large companies

Land costs also present an advantage. The average cost of land purchases for data center development is under $150,000/acre, compared to markets like Chicago or Northern Virginia where transactions of $0.5M - $1.0M/acre aren’t uncommon.

A prominent factor bringing users to Columbus is the city’s geographic location. Columbus is one of the easternmost metros in the Midwest, acting as a gateway between the Midwest and the East Coast.

Considering the proximity to other major cities, nearly half of the US’s population lives within 500 miles of Columbus. It’s also centrally located between some of the largest data center markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Northern Virginia. This means that the bulk of data streaming between these cities runs through Columbus.

The increasing presence of hyperscale owned facilities in Columbus

Columbus has a smaller colocation market compared to other markets, primarily catering to retail users and local companies.

In total, the market currently offers nearly 25 MW of commissioned power, with plans to add a further 45 MW of power in the future. Providers with a strong presence in the area include Cologix, which operates a three-building campus north of Columbus, and Stack Infrastructure, which purchased a data center and land for expansion in New Albany in 2019.

The bulk of Columbus’s data center development comes from enterprise and hyperscale companies building and operating their own facilities. Most of the activity is occurs in the northeastern suburb of New Albany, where Amazon, Google, and Facebook are actively developing data center campuses.

While Columbus’s data center activity previously came from companies in the market wanting to be close to their data center infrastructure, now activity stems from companies desiring to be close to the major cloud companies.

Comparing Hyperscale Owned Facilities vs Colocation Market Size

We recently started covering trends, data center provider activity, and statistics for the Columbus data center market in Hawk Insight, our market research product.

To learn more, request access Hawk Insight for in-depth analysis on Columbus or any of our 35 other markets in North America and Europe.

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