Mesa Quickly Becoming a Massive Cloud Data Mecca


In the few years since Apple bought the massive building at Signal Butte and Elliot to use as a sapphire glass plant, but then repurposed it as a data and cloud computing center, the Elliot Technnology Corridor has taken off and is emerging as one of the leading cloud data locations in the country.

Land that just a few years ago was vacant desert and a portion of the former GM Proving Grounds is growing into a different type of real estate – data real estate.

The newest announcement in July of Google’s development of a data center will mean that, in effect, the tech corridor will be sandwiched by two of the largest tech companies in the world with Google on the West between Sossaman and Power and Apple on the East at Signal Butte.

Google has committed to a $1 billion 750,000 square foot project to be built in three phases at their location on the northeast corner of Elliot and Sossaman, which is currently farmland owned and farmed by the Morrison family.

Expected jobs at the Google facility include systems administrators, technicians, and facilities workers.

Numerous other major players are either currently under construction or in development.

Denver-based startup EdgeCore Internet Real Estate is building their first data center in the Eastmark development, just west of Apple’s global operations center. For the EdgeCore development, a new road called Everton Terrace is being constructed south of Elliot for site access.

EdgeCore is nearing completion on their first phase, a 178,000 square foot facility. It is the first of seven data centers that the company is planning for their campus in Mesa.

Other major players include Digital Realty, who took over the project when they acquired DuPont Fabros Technology last year. They are in development on a data center facility just east of Crismon and just south of the power lines north of Elliot.

Just to the West of Digital Realty and just north of the Niagra Bottling Plant will be CyrusOne, who already has data centers in Chandler.

To the West of Digital Realty will be RagingWire, who closed on their land purchase on July 1. RagingWire has a strong presence in Ashburn, VA, another large cloud hotspot, as well as Sacramento and Dallas.

EdgeConnex has purchased land north of Elliot and just west of Loop 202 and are continuing their development plans for a datacenter there.

Cloud Data Demand is High

There are quite a few players in the data center sector due to the massive growth in demand for cloud-based computing data.

There are increased needs from the top providers such as Amazon, Oracle, and Microsoft, but also increased cloud server needs from mid-size and larger software-as-a-service providers, social media, and the fact that entire companies and organizations are moving from on-site infrastructure to cloud-based solutions.

Why Southeast Mesa?

Mesa’s Elliot Technology Corridor is a major player in cloud data centers due to a few big reasons, including economy as well as solid power, water, and fiber infrastructures.

SRP’s Browning receiving station at Elliot and Signal Butte has a massive 500MW capacity and various transmission lines. SRP also is able to provide access to their dark fiber network. Dark fiber is an unused optical fibre which can be leased by companies requiring high performance, and allows for a dedicated access point versus purchasing bandwidth on an existing network.

The region’s affordability, land, and power costs are also very attractive, as power is a large part of the operating cost of a data center. Power costs in the Phoenix metro area can be half that of Los Angeles.

Electric costs, while lower than other areas, also provide revenue for the city through transaction privilege taxes.

Mesa is rapidly joining Chandler as a high-technology center. Goodyear is also attractng cloud data centers, with Compass Datacenters, Stream Data Centers, and Vantage Data Centershave recently buying property there for the same use.