Switch to establish largest data center in eastern U.S. in Gaines Township, Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (12/15/15) – Today The Right Place, Inc., and Las Vegas-based Switch, confirmed the company will establish a new $5 billion SUPERNAP data center in Gaines Township in greater Grand Rapids. The final decision coming after legislation approved by both the Michigan House and Senate and submitted to Governor Rick Snyder for signature.

These state legislative changes not only welcome Switch to Michigan, but also enable the state to compete for the attraction of future high-tech companies. This legislation, and Switch’s decision to locate in the state, firmly establishes Michigan in the epicenter of the U.S. data center industry.

“Today, Michigan not only welcomes Switch, it welcomes an entire industry to the state,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “I often remind our partners in the region that economic development is a team sport. This project epitomizes this. Without the assistance and support of countless elected officials, business and community leaders, Switch would not be coming to West Michigan.”

Rendering of the Steelcase pyramid project

The Right Place played an integral role in the business attraction process, bringing together private business leaders and public elected leaders to ensure this project became a reality. The organization partnered with several key leaders, including The Grand Rapids Area Chamber and The Right Place Board of Directors. This project would not have been possible without the strong support and leadership of Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, Speaker Kevin Cotter, Representative Rob VerHeulen, Representative Ken Yonker and Representative Winnie Brinks, as well as the sponsors of the legislation.

The new SUPERNAP data center will be located at the former Steelcase Pyramid in Gaines Township, establishing the beginning of a 2 million square-foot state-of-the-art, high-tech campus in West Michigan. The project will create over 1,000 badged IT professionals at the site. The campus will also create numerous local construction jobs over the estimated 10-year build out of the entire project. A majority of Switch’s subcontractors will be engaged from the local workforce.

The SUPERNAP Michigan will be the largest data center campus in the eastern U.S. and will serve the company’s current clients in geographic redundancy and new clients with national connectivity. The company’s clients include major internet companies and several Fortune-level enterprises. The campus will provide transformational infrastructure and serve the eastern U.S. by offering the only Uptime Institute rated Tier IV Gold carrier-neutral colocation data center location outside of the SUPERNAP facilities in the western U.S.

Switch’s 1,000 clients include eBay, Intel, Shutterfly, Machine Zone (Game of War), Amgen, Dreamworks, HP, Intuit, Hitachi, JP Morgan Chase, Sony, Boeing Cisco, EMC, Google, Amazon, Time Warner, Eli Lilly, Activision (Call of Duty) and Fox Broadcasting, among many others.

Why Nevada and Michigan?

The Nevada SUPERNAP Prime data centers are the largest independent tech ecosystems in the world. Switch builds its SUPERNAP Prime interactive, super-scale facilities at inland locations that are still within the millisecond protocols needed to safely serve major markets without the obvious increased risk of natural disasters associated with coastline locations. Switch’s enterprise business clients will collectively place billions of dollars of equipment at these selected Prime hubs, which is why geographic safety is critical.

The Michigan SUPERNAP Prime would join those ranks and share the infrastructure attributes as well as follow the Switch site selection criteria. SUPERNAP Las Vegas is 7 milliseconds from Los Angeles and 14 milliseconds from San Francisco. SUPERNAP Tahoe Reno is 6 milliseconds from Silicon Valley and 14 milliseconds from San Diego. SUPERNAP Michigan will be 2 milliseconds from Chicago and 14 milliseconds from New York. Nevada is in the Pacific time zone and Michigan is in the Eastern time zone and the prime campus locations have low millisecond access to the largest people hubs in the U.S without being burdened with the high power prices, taxes and earthquake/hurricane risks associated with those cities.

Michigan’s New Data Center Legislation

Senate Bills 616 and 617, sponsored by Senators Tonya Schuitmaker and Pete MacGregor, exempt all data centers and co-located businesses from the sales and use tax on data center equipment for 20 years. The legislation applies specifically to those companies in which data centers operations are the primary source of business, generating 75% or more of its revenue from the operation and business of a data center. The legislation no longer includes a personal property tax abatement, as local communities currently have the ability to exempt taxes on a business per local review.

Rendering of the Steelcase pyramid project

Photo Credit: Switch

About The Right Place, Inc.
The Right Place, Inc. is a regional non-profit economic development organization founded in 1985 and supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and technology in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. For more information visit: www.rightplace.org

About Switch
Switch is a transformational technology idea engine corporation. It was founded by Rob Roy in 2000 to be the platform for all of his sustainability-focused patents and differentiated technologies.

Recognized as the best data centers in the world, SUPERNAP Tier IV Gold data centers are the physical manifestation of Rob Roy’s patents and Switch’s revolution in the technology infrastructure industry.

Colocation primes, on-premise edge products, $3 trillion purchasing cooperative, super scale operating ecosystems and extreme collaboration are all present in these industry-leading living data centers. SUPERNAP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Switch. Learn more at supernap.com.