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Data center company LightBound eyes $80 million expansion

February 17, 2017

LightBound LLC, an Indianapolis-based data center and telecommunication services firm, is gearing up to double its footprint—an expansion that could run $80 million.

The company has about 80,000 square feet of space across two buildings a few blocks west of Lucas Oil Stadium. They're nearing capacity, Lightbound founder and CEO Jack Carr said in an interview, so the company is laying the groundwork to add an 80,000-square-foot building on the same property.

Construction could start in mid-2018, with the buildout occurring in phases over several years. It costs about $10,000 per square foot to build and outfit a data center, so LightBound's cost for the full buildout could run $80 million.

"This data center expansion is a big deal because it allows big companies to come to Indianapolis," Carr said, mentioning client firms including Emarsys eSystems AG, an Austria-based tech firm that established its North American headquarters here in 2015.

"To have these capabilities here in town is a big deal."

The 23-year-old company's initially operated a 30,000-square-foot data center at 731 W. Henry St. In 2010, it hashed out a tax incentive deal with the city to start building the four-story, 50,000-square-foot center at 650 W. Henry St. After about four years in operation, that second building has about 5,000 available. 

LightBound fills its data centers in stages, usually by floor, outfitting them with generators and other components. Then enterprise customers rent space, often filling them with their own sever and storage hardware.

The new building, at 700 W. Henry St., likely will be filled in similar fashion.

"We'll probably open 10,000 or 15,000 square feet day one, so it might be about $25 million to get it off the ground," Carr said.

Some of its 300 enterprise clients include Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Indiana University Health and Indiana Members Credit Union. Its customer base also includes several large publicly traded firms that it can't disclose.

The company has 55 employees and expects to generate $30 million in revenue this year.

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