Wal-Mart, which announced in July that it would build a 210,000-square-foot corporate data center in northern Colorado Springs, has finalized its purchase of the site — paying about $5.3 million for the land.
The world’s largest retailer completed its purchase Friday, buying four parcels totaling 24 acres along Federal Drive, southeast of InterQuest and Voyager parkways, according to documents recorded with the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
Wal-Mart spokesman Josh Phair in Denver confirmed that the retailer has finalized its purchase but said he couldn’t add more details. Wal-Mart officials previously had said construction on the project would begin in October and be completed in late 2012.
Local government officials and business leaders who wooed Wal-Mart with $4.5 million in sales and business personal property tax rebates have said the project will pump about $488 million into the Pikes Peak region’s economy over its first 15 years.
Wal-Mart says it will employ 30 people with salaries of $30,000 to $70,000 to operate the data center. While the retailer hasn’t commented on the project’s cost, Colorado Springs officials have said Wal-Mart will spend about $100 million to build the data center, and invest $50 million to $100 million more in machinery and equipment over 15 years.
Data centers are essentially technology equipment warehouses, where businesses operate websites or internal computer networks and programs. While they don’t employ large numbers of people, they involve major capital investments and consume large amounts of electricity.
Colorado Springs is home to data centers for Progressive Insurance, FedEx and Hewlett-Packard, and business leaders hope to attract more such facilities. A Springs general contractor has proposed creation of a business park on the city’s south side that would be home to several data centers.
Why the Springs? City and economic development officials have touted its low-cost and reliable electricity, highly educated workforce and its location largely free from natural disasters as major pluses.
Wal-Mart’s purchase of the property was welcomed by commercial real estate industry members, who hope it shines a spotlight on the InterQuest area that’s home to office buildings and retail developments. The Wal-Mart data center site is adjacent to, but not part of, the financially troubled Colorado Crossing mixed-use project whose developer declared bankruptcy last year.
Craig Anderson, a commercial broker with NAI Highland Commercial Group in the Springs and who markets nearby property, called the InterQuest area one of the city’s premier commercial developments.
“As the economy rights itself, this area is poised to see strong building activity,” Anderson said. “Wal-Mart choosing this location lends credibility to the area and obviously to Colorado Springs.”
Contact the writer at 636-0228
- Q&A with Amy Lynch: Focusing on the customer experience
- HealthSouth plans new hospital in Littleton
- Work fully under way on transformation of former Ivywild School
- Rebuilding after fire just one factor in homebuilding’s recovery
- Knox County hospital launches $100 million expansion