On Monday, May 3 and Tuesday, May 4, economic development officials in High Point and Guilford County stated publicly that there would be a major announcement coming on Wednesday, May 5.
The announcement, when it finally arrived, was one that brought a lot of smiles to officials in High Point and Guilford County and to the faces of all others who like to see big economic development successes.
Data storage company DC BLOX announced on Wednesday that the company has acquired land in High Point that it will use to develop a large data center that’s expected to bring more than $300 million in capital investment.
A May 5 press release announcing the project called it a “first-of-its-kind in the market” and said it was a facility that will include “direct and private access to major public cloud providers.”
The new data center, when complete will connect up with DC BLOX’s other facilities and will enable a wide range of services: “colocation, interconnection solutions, hybrid connectivity as well as disaster recovery and cloud storage.”
High Point Economic Development Corp. (EDC) Interim Director Sandy Dunbeck issued a public statement that noted the size of the company’s investment in the community.
“DC BLOX has chosen High Point to build a multi-tenant data center that could add more than $305 million to our tax base,” Dunbeck stated, “which is the largest capital investment project for High Point in the 15 years since I have been with the High Point EDC. We are grateful for the company’s confidence in our city and our community.”
DC BLOX builds and operates interconnected multi-tenant data centers in markets – like High Point – that don’t have large-scale data centers.
While High Point and county leaders didn’t make the official announcement until Wednesday, anyone who followed the local economic incentives news could likely have deduced the project.
In fact, in September of 2020 – almost nine months ago – the Rhino Times ran a story headlined, “$305 Million Data Center Coming To High Point.”
That story noted that, on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, “Guilford County government quietly announced that it would hold a public hearing on an economic incentives package for DC BLOX – and that “a county public hearing of this sort almost always means the deal is a done deal and the company will proceed with its project.”
The City of High Point also approved an incentives package for the project in 2020.
When the county approved the data center last year, the plans called for the center to be on a 14-acre vacant lot at 4131 Sheraton Ct. in High Point at the corner of Piedmont Parkway and Sheraton Court in the Piedmont Centre business park.
This week, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, said that he’s been impressed with what the company is promising to do for the community. As a commissioner who’s always concerned with addressing inequality in the county, Alston said he was pleased that that company “pledged to work to reduce the digital divide in underprivileged areas.”
Alston added that he was also glad the company was promising to “provide technology support for non-profits and disadvantaged minority-owned businesses,” as well as provide training and education for the area’s future tech workers.
Jeff Uphues, the CEO of DC BLOX, issued a public statement Wednesday regarding the new center: “The High Point Economic Development Corporation, the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance, the City of High Point and Guilford County have been great partners supporting and enabling DC BLOX to develop a new Tier III data center in this location. When complete, enterprise businesses across industries, local and state government agencies, higher education institutions and managed service providers across North Carolina will have major market capabilities, connectivity solutions and highly reliable services to enable effective digital transformation.”
High Point Mayor Jay Wagner called DC BLOX a “first-rate company,” and said that he knew the company would find High Point to be “the perfect location” for the new center.