Data center talks to the world from Pearl Street

Mayor Bloomberg speaks at Intergate.Manhattan’s grand opening on March 13.

Intergate.Manhattan is open for business.

The world’s tallest high-rise data center powered up in Manhattan last week, in the monolithic former New York Telephone Company building that sits between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges on Pearl Street downtown.

The Sabey Corporation, a Seattle-based developer that specializes in computer infrastructure, purchased most of the building last year for $120 million. Verizon, whose name adorns the exterior, still owns and occupies three floors.

The building’s history means it has rare and valuable access to the electrical grid and fiber-optic network that make it a perfect data center, Sabey said, including access to 40 megawatts of power from ConEd. “The potential for connecting to the rest of the world from this location is enormous,” David Sabey, the founder of Sabey Corporation, said at the new center’s inauguration last Wednesday.

Last week marked the power-up of the data center’s first phase, providing over 100,000 s/f of data center space and 5.4 Megawatts of power. Ultimately, IGM will accommodate 40 Megawatts of critical data center capacity on 600,000 s/f of data center floor space.

The center’s first tenant is the Genome Center, which will use IGM server space in conjunction with offices in 101 Avenue of the Americas to provide genetic sequencing services to hospitals and research facilities throughout the region.

Future tenants are expected to come from a range of fields, including finance, technology, and media.

“With access to the incredible computer power available at IGM, they will soon be developing technology that will change all our lives,” Sabey said. He noted the facility’s proximity to the Lower Manhattan site where Thomas Edison introduced the electrical light to the world in 1882.

Jeffrey J. Kanne, president and CEO of National Real Estate Advisors, had the same idea. “I believe the Internet will be as transformative as what Edison did,” he said in his remarks.
NREA represents the pension fund of Local 3 IBEW, the electrical workers’ union, which has invested with Sabey in the site.

Over the past several months, the interior of the building was stripped down to what Sabey called its “rock-solid” bones, and repopulated with brand new electrical infrastructure, with an eye to maximum efficiency.

Servers in the data center are protected from fluctuations in the power grid by huge Uninterrupted Power Supplies capable of powering the servers for 10 minutes. In the case of a power outage, each floor of server space is also supported by two on-site, 3-megawatt electrical generators.

375 Pearl Street, home of the new Intergate.Manhattan data center. Photo by Sarah Trefethen for Real Estate Weekly.

The generators are the size of dump trucks and located on the third floor. Ceilings in the building are 23.5 feet high, and the floors can support 400 pounds per square foot.

Sabey has a number of data centers in Washington State, as well as a new facility under construction outside of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia.

The 438,000 s/f Intergate.Columbia in Central Washington State offers clients hydroelectric power at less than 2 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to 15-20 cents per kilowatt hour that tenants will pay at IGM, according to a spokesperson.

Clients thus have the option of using more than one Sabey location, saving on electrical costs by processing less time-sensitive data in a more cost effective facility.

Michael G. Morris of the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank infrastructure services group will represent IGM in leasing transactions.
Asking rents in the building have not been disclosed. Data center tenants pay rent based on the amount of power they expect to consume, as if they were renting access to a percentage of the center’s power supply. In this type of lease, square footage in the building is secondary — much as access to electricity is secondary in a traditional office lease. Data center tenants also pay a metered rate for the power they actually consume each month.

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