SF outfit plans Vernon data center near DTLA hubs

The 261K sf facility developed by Prime Data Centers will be a first for the industrial city

Prime Data Centers' Nicholas Laag and a rendering of the Vernon data center (Prime Data Centers)
Prime Data Centers' Nicholas Laag and a rendering of the Vernon data center (Prime Data Centers)

A San Francisco developer has filed plans to build a 261,000-square-foot data center in Vernon.

Prime Data Centers, a wholesale data center developer and operator, has proposed a three-story building on 4.5 acres at 4701 S. Santa Fe Ave., five miles south of Downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

The first known data center in the industrial city will replace a 224,600-square-foot garment manufacturing facility built in 1946 and last renovated in 2001, according to Dgtl Infra Real Estate. The property was most recently listed for $30 million.

The new data center is expected to deliver up to 33 megawatts of power to its tenants. The company is also creating a 49.5 megavolt amp substation that will service the new site.

Completion is expected in the fourth quarter of next year.

One of Los Angeles’ key strengths is its diverse long-haul fiber and subsea cable connectivity, according to Dgtl Infra.

L.A. gives long-haul fiber routes linking Phoenix and Las Vegas access to the West Coast, while serving as a key access point for long-haul fiber routes between Mexico and Canada.

To this end, Prime Data Centers’ Vernon facility will be carrier-neutral and up to five miles away from major interconnection hubs at One Wilshire, 600 W. Seventh St., 530 W. Sixth St., 900 N. Alameda and 818 W. Seventh St. in Downtown L.A.

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“Los Angeles is a thriving global connectivity market, and our new hyperscale Vernon data center will be right in the middle of it all,” Nicholas Laag, chief executive and founder of Prime Data Centers, said in a statement.

The new facility will offer dedicated office, storage and staging options, as well as secure onsite parking.

Darren Eades of JLL handled the land acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Prime Data Centers is backed by Macquarie Capital, the investment arm of Macquarie Group, for which it targeted $5 billion in development in the next 10 years. The San Francisco-based firm now has data centers or emerging projects in Sacramento, Santa Clara, Hayward and a $1 billion center in Elk Grove, Chicago. Projects are in the works for Madrid, Spain, and Munich, Germany.

Last year, data center mergers and acquisitions hit a new record of $47.1 billion, up from $34.5 billion in 2020, according to JLL. The global construction pipeline hit a new record last year, growing by 18.9 percent in the U.S.

In Southern California, there was an uptick in data center leasing in 2021 as more cloud service providers and other firms took space. Last year the market had 7.7 megawatts of net absorption, up 38 percent over the previous year, according to data from CBRE.

[Los Angeles Business Journal, Dgtl Infra Real Estate] – Dana Bartholomew

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