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  Clifton Data Center Delayed To June
  April 19, 2013
By Linda Moss
northjersey.com
   
 

The opening of Telx's $200 million state-of-the-art data center in Clifton has been delayed until mid-June, when former Giants quarterback Phil Simms will help launch the facility.

The 215,000-square-foot data center at 2 Peekay Drive had been slated to open this month, but that debut has been pushed back about six weeks, Telx officials said Thursday. The facility will be ready for tenants in June, with a grand opening party scheduled for June 19.

"We're in the process of gearing up," said Anthony Rossabi, Telx senior vice president of service provider markets. "This is marketed as a financial hub, so we want to ensure, obviously, that we have everybody set and ready for this once we kick off. … Obviously, we didn't want to do anything too precipitously. We wanted to ensure we had all the proper bells and whistles."

Cluster of centers

North Jersey has the largest cluster of data centers in the nation, providing a bright spot in the state's economy. And that real estate subsector continues to expand, with companies such as Cedar Knolls-based Net Access Corp. among those businesses adding more data center space.

Telx, a Manhattan-based provider of data center and interconnection services, is trying to create what it calls a future-technology incubator for data centers in Clifton. In November, Telx paid $29 million to buy a building it had been leasing, 100 Delawanna Ave., that's adjacent to 2 Peekay Drive.

It's merging those properties to create one big data center campus, with security upgrades that include a perimeter fence with anti-climb and intrusion technology and campus surveillance using advanced imaging, including infrared sensors. The new facility has bulletproof and bombproof doors, as well.

The improvements to the Delawanna property apparently also increased the scope, and contributed to the delay, of 2 Peekay Drive's opening.

Telx hasn't announced any tenants for its new Clifton facility.

"We are marketing the facility," Rossabi said. "We're in advanced negotiations with quite a number of folks."

Telx has been conducting tours of its new data center for months now, Rossabi said.

'Major ratable'

The company hosts an annual conference, Marketplace Live, scheduled this year for June 6 in New York City, which attracts investors, executives, tech enthusiasts and media from around the world. On June 5, they will have the opportunity to tour 2 Peekay Drive, Rossabi said.

Telx secured Simms to appear at its June 19 party on Thursday.

Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi is also expected to attend, with an invitation also sent to Governor Christie's administration.

"Suffice it to say it's a major ratable," said Michael Seeve, president of Mountain Development Corp. in Woodland Park, of the 2 Peekay Drive facility. "It's a real feather in anyone's cap."

The company sold 100 Delawanna to Telx and is the developer of the new Clifton data center.

"This is a global company that does business with extremely rarified customers," Seeve said of Telx.

"It's capitalized with some of the most sophisticated investors in the world and it's run by really, really aggressive people who are in the forefront of this industry," he said. "They could have gone anywhere in the world, and they chose this site. That's very gratifying. … Information technology is a really growing part of the economy."

Telx on Thursday said Seaborn Networks, which has created the first direct underseas cable network from Brazil to the East Coast, will be using several of its data centers, including Clifton, as a gateway.

"Partnering with Telx in the New York metro area increases our ability to offer widespread access to our U.S.-Brazil network from the major points of presence in New York and New Jersey when Seabras-1 [cable line] enters service in the first quarter of 2015," Seaborn Chief Executive Officer Larry Schwartz said in a statement.

In the wake of superstorm Sandy, and the desire to protect data and keep operating in treacherous weather, companies have been contacting data center officials about their operations, said Blake Ellman, president of Net Access.

Data centers are a hot topic, and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey held a roundtable — for about 30 attendees — on them and disaster recovery Wednesday at a Net Access data center in Parsippany.

The company plans to more than double the space at that facility, by adding 80,000 square feet to its current 55,000, Ellman said.

In Sandy's aftermath, that facility was crammed with Net Access customers, including a payroll company and an insurer, because it and the company's two other data centers never lost power.

"We actually became an island in a little bit of a squatters' village," Ellman said. "People were coming to every available space we had and camping out here. … Our hallways were packed with people for days because they were desperate."