UPDATE: Tech firm triggering $10M data center downtown

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A Michigan company plans to open a $10 million, 25-employee data center in downtown Indianapolis, the firm announced Wednesday.

Online Tech LLC has acquired and plans to renovate a 44,000-square-foot building at 505 W. Merrill St., just west of Lucas Oil Stadium. The building previously belonged to the Midwest Independent System Operator, which manages the power grid for much of the Midwest. MISO used the building as a backup data center, a spokeswoman said.

About half of the $10 million investment covered the building purchase, and the remainder will go toward renovations, said Online Tech co-CEO Mike Klein. The company expects construction to finish by this fall.

Before then, 60-employee Online Tech will hire for information technology, sales and administrative positions. Most jobs will pay between $60,000 and $100,000 per year, Klein said.

Health care and software firms, especially ones in health IT, provide the most business for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Online Tech. Downtown’s hospitals and tech firms made the area ideal for Online Tech, Klein said.

Indianapolis will serve as a launch pad for larger ambitions to expand in the Great Lakes states.

The Merrill Street facility will be Online Tech’s fifth total, and its first outside its home state.

The firm plans to stay within the Midwest for the near term because of a “void” it sees in data-center services, Klein said.

“You go to the West Coast or the East Coast, even in Chicago, it’s a pretty busy marketplace,” he said. “There’s not a lot in secondary markets.”
Online Tech joins a handful of similar companies with data centers in the Indianapolis area. LightBound, Lifeline Data Centers, Bluelock and Expedient (formerly nFrame), among others, all have opened facilities or expanded in recent years.



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  1. It is nice and all that the developer grew up here and lives here, but do you think a company that builds and rehabs cottage-style homes has the chops to develop $150 Million of office, retail, and residential? I'm guessing they will quickly be over their skis and begging the city for even more help... This project should occur organically and be developed by those that can handle the size and scope of something like this as several other posters have mentioned.

  2. It amazes me how people with apparently zero knowledge of free markets or capitalism feel the need to read and post on a business journal website. Perhaps the Daily Worker would suit your interests better. It's definitely more sympathetic to your pro government theft views. It's too bad the Star is so awful as I'm sure you would find a much better home there.

  3. In other cities, expensive new construction projects are announced by real estate developers. In Carmel, they are announced by the local mayor. I am so, so glad I don't live in Carmel's taxbase--did you see that Carmel, a small Midwest suburb, has $500 million in debt?? That's unreal! The mayor thinks he's playing with Lego sets and Monopoly money here! Let these projects develop organically without government/taxpayer backing! Also, from a design standpoint, the whole town of Carmel looks comical. Grand, French-style buildings and promenades, sitting next to tire yards. Who do you guys think you are? Just my POV as a recent transplant to Indy.

  4. GeorgeP, you mention "necessities". Where in the announcement did it say anything about basic essentials like groceries? None of the plans and "vision" have basic essentials listed and nothing has been built. Traffic WILL be a nightmare. There is no east/west road capacity. GeorgeP, you also post on www.carmelchatter.com and your posts have repeatedly been proven wrong. You seem to have a fair amount of inside knowledge. Do you work on the third floor of Carmel City Hal?

  5. I don't know about the commuter buses...but it's a huge joke to see these IndyGo buses with just one or two passengers. Absolutely a disgusting waste of TAXPAYER money. Get some cojones and stop funding them. These (all of them) council members work for you. FIRE THEM!