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Skybox & Prologis announce plans for new 30MW data center in Austin, Texas

Two companies partnering again for facility in Pflugerville

March 10, 2022 By Dan Swinhoe

Skybox data Centers is again partnering with real estate firm Prologis to develop a data center in Austin, Texas.

Skybox Austin I will be a 30MW, 141,240 square-foot (13,100 sqm) facility located in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville. Construction is due to begin by December 2022.

“Often called the Silicon Valley of Texas, it’s no secret that Austin has become a huge draw for some of the nation’s largest technology firms,” said Rob Morris, Skybox CEO. “The unprecedented volume of new businesses, their employees and investment in the region is creating a new epicenter for technology and innovation.” Skybox Austin I will provide a highly-secure, modern data center option for growing mission-critical requirements. ”

The company has lined up incentives from Pflugerville Community Development Corporation that offer up to $1.5 million over 10 years to support job creation by tenants at the new data center. To qualify for the grant, Skybox must construct a facility prior to Jan. 1, 2024, secure at least one tenant and certify a minimum investment of $50 million. The PCDC said the project – codenamed Project Charge in city documents — will see up to $548 million in investment.

“We look forward to working with Skybox Datacenters and Prologis on this project that is bringing significant investment, infrastructure improvements and a solid tax base for the City of Pflugerville,” PCDC Executive Director Amy Madison said in a press release announcing the project.

Exactly where the facility will be located wasn’t shared, but Prologis owns a number of industrial buildings on Center Lake Drive and Howard Lane. Amazon and Facebook/Meta have previously leased industrial space in Pflugerville.

Skybox first partnered with Prologis in early 2021, when the two companies filed to convert an empty warehouse owned by the real estate firm into a data center in Elk Grove, Illinois. Around the same time it officially announced plans for Elk Grove, Skybox announced it was selling its Houston, Texas, data center to Element Critical.

In December, Prologis filed for permission to develop a new 500,000 sq ft (46,500 sqm) data center on a 19.5-acre industrial site that it currently owns in Sterling, Virginia. Additional filings suggest Prologis is again partnering with Skybox Datacenters for the project, though the companies haven't confirmed this yet.

In the latest release, Skybox said; “With access to expansion capacity in Austin and hundreds of assets across the United States, Skybox and Prologis present users with unparalleled scale and a proven roadmap for future growth and opportunity.”

While Austin has a sizeable number of data centers – including Switch Inc’s Data Foundry facilities and its new development at Dell’s nearby Round Rock HQ – Pflugerville itself has minimal data center presence. Local colo firm operates an 8,000 sq ft (743 sqm) facility at 3804 Helios Way.

Other firms have previously tried to bring data centers to Pflugerville. Baryonyx-backed WindData planned a wind-powered facility in the city circa 2009; the company planned up to five buildings and 10MW of wind capacity, By 2012 however, the project had been repeatedly delayed and never came to fruition.

2012 also saw Dimension Capital Partners – through Arista Data Centers – plan a $210m data center on 40 acres in Pflugerville, west of the Stone Hill Town Center. That development also seemingly never arrived.