First Phase of the 1.8 Million-Square-Foot Data Center Campus Completed and Now Open
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Switch, a globally recognized leader in future-proof data center design, superscale cloud, unparalleled telecom gateways and energy sustainability, today announced the opening of the largest, most advanced data center campus in the Eastern U.S. –– Switch GRAND RAPIDS, home of the iconic Switch Pyramid.
The campus, designed for up to 1.8 million square feet of data center space and up to 320 megawatts (MW) of power, marks Switch’s strategic expansion across the country to serve major key markets including Chicago, Ashburn, New York, Washington D.C. and Toronto, all just milliseconds away. The entire campus is powered by 100-percent green energy, cementing Switch’s leadership in sustainably running the internet.
The first phase of construction is an adaptive reuse of the Steelcase Pyramid into the Switch Pyramid data center designed to include over 225,000 square feet of data center space. It is developed to the same world-renowned Tier IV Gold-rated standards as the company’s Las Vegas multi-tenant data centers. Based on more than 260 patent and patent-pending claims developed by founder and CEO Rob Roy, Switch data centers continue to exceed all industry standards. Like all Switch data centers, the Switch Pyramid is designed to accommodate future-proof, high-density deployments, high-performance workloads and always-on applications across a wide spectrum of industries and technical requirements.
During the accelerated construction and development schedule over the past year in Grand Rapids, led by local general contractor, The Christman Company, more than 700 people have been employed at the site in construction and mission-critical positions. Almost 99 percent of these workers are Michiganders, reflecting Switch’s commitment to support local economic development by hiring from the local workforce. Switch expects that hundreds more people will be employed as the campus is built out.
With the support of officials in Gaines Township and Kent County, development and permitting has begun well ahead of schedule for the first 471,248-square-foot Switch GRAND RAPIDS 1 data center on the property surrounding the Pyramid, the first of several data center facilities planned for construction there. The campus is expected to be in continuous expansion for at least 10 years, making it a constant source of construction work and growing employment.
“Rob Roy’s vision has turned one of the most iconic buildings in the country into the foundation of what we believe will be the most advanced technology ecosystem campus in the eastern U.S.,” said Switch Executive Vice President for Strategy Adam Kramer. “Since the announcement of Switch’s expansion into Michigan, the state has been attracting the tech world’s attention, defining the region and the state as an epicenter for technology that runs the internet of absolutely everything.”
State lawmakers who were instrumental in attracting Switch to Michigan praised the opening of the Switch Pyramid campus.
“In the Legislature, we took very seriously our commitment to creating public policy that would enable and encourage new companies like Switch to make Michigan the most competitive state in the region for economic development,” said Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-Grand Haven. “Having the technology backbone of the internet right here in Michigan up and running ahead of schedule definitely delivers on the vision of that policy.”
The Right Place, the economic development corporation for the Grand Rapids area, sees the establishment of the Switch Pyramid campus acting as a catalyst for the growth of the tech sector in the region.
“Switch’s investment, local employment, and community commitment have exceeded our expectations for what was possible when they first approached us about coming to West Michigan,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO of The Right Place, Inc. “From an economic development perspective, Switch has established a new industry in the state and our region, bringing new opportunities to existing businesses and attracting new interest from outside technology and related companies.”
Switch expects to hold an official “grand opening” event at the Switch Pyramid later in 2017.