Development Authority negotiating new data center at Industrial Park

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County recently approved a memorandum of understanding to bring an information technology storage and data center to Decatur County.

The authority voted unanimously last Thursday to move forward with an agreement with MinveraWorks, LLC, an information technology company based in Atlanta, Georgia.

The company wants to construct and occupy a 20,000 square foot building, located behind John B. Sanfilippo & Son in the Decatur County Industrial Park, to use as a data storage facility.

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According to the MOU, the IDA would provide 7.2 acres of land and there would be no property tax abatement. The company would pay property taxes on the equipment in the building, which would be large banks of computer servers.

“We also offered to build the building and lease-purchase to MinervaWorks on a 10 year pay back, subject to the bank accepting the company’s 10 year lease that covers the payback as collateral,” said Rick McCaskill, IDA Executive Director.. “The only way the bank will accept that is if the company is very strong and that is what we are dealing with here.”

This arrangement would essentially be “pass-through” financing provided by the IDA with MinervaWorks making the mortgage payments.

The company would employ a minimum 15 people when up and running.

According to McCaskill, the benefit, in addition to the job creation, is the level of taxes the company would pay based on the value of the highly technical equipment in the building.

“The company is doing three identical projects in three different communities in Georgia. They want the building to be expandable because they will grow wherever it is warranted,” said McCaskill, “We want that expansion to be with us.”

The building site in the industrial park is attractive to the company because of their requirement to have dual electric power feeds from separate substations. The company also requires dual network.

McCaskill said that the approval of the agreement would allow the IDA to explore financing options for the construction of the building, which is estimated to cost $6-7 million to construct.