Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Big changes coming at Dallas’ landmark Infomart building
The owners of Dallas’ Infomart are making $40 million in upgrades to the building – the first of many improvements to make the landmark property more attractive to data center tenants.
About 60 percent of the filigree-clad building northwest of downtown is already used for data center space.
“Over the last 10 years every time an office tenant moves out, a data center absorbs that space,” said Infomart Data Centers president John Sheputis. “We are making a whole bunch of investments to make the building more attractive and secure for those tenants.”
Along with adding additional power, cooling and other infrastructure upgrades, Infomart is reworking the atrium area of the building.
“We are going to make it more secure but also more comfortable,” Sheputis said.
Out front construction has already started on additional power generator facilities to serve the data center tenants in the building.
“This building’s new incarnation is as a home for the Internet,” Sheputis said. It’s already one of the largest data centers in the country, he said, with more than two dozen data center providers located in the building.
Infomart has just built it’s own 24,000-square-foot wholesale data center facility that will contract with clients.
About 90 percent of the 1.6 million square-foot building at 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway is rented, Sheputis said.
The owners are working on plans for a 330,000-square-foot expansion building that would be located on the north side of the Infomart.
“”We already have tenants asking about it,” Sheputis said. “We are working on some concepts.”
Over time the owners expect to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the property up to date and expand, he said.
Opened in 1986, the Infomart was modeled after London’s 19th century Crystal Palace, and planned as a state-of-the-art showroom for high-tech firms.
The building has one of the most sophisticated telecommunications and power systems in the country.
The current owners have had the property since 2006.
Along with the data centers, office tenants in the building include Bank of America and AT&T.
“We still have about 2,000 people working in the building,” Sheputis said. “But I’m sure things aren’t as developer Trammell Crow originally envisioned this building.
“Most of the tenants now aren’t people – they are machines.”
North Texas is one of the country’s largest data center hubs.
Several new facilities are under construction, including a $1 billion project for Facebook north of Fort Worth.
Steve Brown/ Dallas Morning News