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. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.