DATA CENTRE - WYTHENSHAWE, MANCHESTER

The Wythenshawe Data centre is our financing project, it will be one of the highest specification computer centres in Europe and will help to position Manchester as a Tech Powerhouse of the future.

UNDERSTANDING THE VALUATION

Currently valued at £55.4 million before any work has begun, the Data Centre is expected to be valued at over £133 million by the end of its construction.

The valuation has been done on the existing computer/IT space of just over 39,000 square feet whereas, by the end of the project, the computer/IT space will be extended to an impressive circa 60,000 square feet. To put this into perspective, the computing floor space is just under one standard football pitch in size. The entire computer facility is circa 150,000 square feet gross which includes office space, network operations, plant/machinery and various other functions.

The investment profile on this project is such that no more than a circa 40% loan to value is exceeded which provides a very generous loan to asset cover. What this means is that only circa 40% of the value of the project will be loaned out to pay for development, which leaves the remaining 60% as assets to cover the amount loaned (reducing investment risk).

THE RENTAL VALUATION

The rental level for this building is circa £7.5million per annum based upon the existing 39,000 square feet of computer/IT space. However, as nearly 60,000 of computer/IT space is being provided within the redevelopment works, this rental valuation is likely to increase considerably.

The occupancy of the Data Centre can be taken in a few ways:

  1. The building can be rented as whole
  2. The building can be refinanced with a mainstream lender
  3. Operate the facility on a facility management basis to multiple occupiers
  4. The Head Lease of the building can be sold to an occupier or operator

The Data Centre also has the ability to house supercomputers, high performance computers, mass data storage silo’s/libraries and racks if an occupier wishes. As a traditional Co-Location facility, the data suites can accommodate circa 1,400 racks which again should yield more than the £7.5m per annum base rent on the original computer/IT space footprint.

Co-Location (or colo), is a term used within the data centre sector to describe a centre which rents its computing space out to other companies/occupiers. In most situations, the occupier would purchase the computer hardware, and the centre would offer all the infrastructure benefits like fibre access, cooling, bandwidth and power.

A LEVEL LIKE NO OTHER

TIER 4 CLASSIFICATION

Availability of Uptime Institute (UTI) Tier 4 facilities with the infrastructure and high security that the facility will have is a rare commodity in the Data/Computer Centre market. The world is quickly moving towards big data, and an emphasis on Cyber Security, which has, in turn, fuelled the demand for supercomputers/high performance computers as well as high capacity secure fibre communications. The availability of facilities that are capable of housing this is very small. Equally, the availability of well located, highly secure, multiple Tier 1 prime backbone fibre connected facilities with unique power connections is also very limited in the UK and Europe.

With this data centre facility being way above the capabilities of most other facilities, we are very confident that there will be significant demand for occupancy. Active marketing of the facility will start as soon as construction commences. An international Data Centre specialist firm of surveyors will also be officially appointed.

THE HISTORY

The Data Centre (DC) was originally the principle DC operated by Barclays Bank and was the first purpose-designed and built civilian DC in Europe. Barclays operated all of its electronic functions from this facility including SWIFT Payments, ATM’s, Europe wide EPOS systems for customers such as ESSO petrol Stations and Sainsbury’s and other banking, finance and trading activities. The finance we are providing will help refurbish the facility to 'as new' and just as when it was initially opened the building will be way ahead of its time once again.

ONE OF THE HIGHEST SPECIFIED DATA CENTRES IN THE UK AND EUROPE

It will offer nearly 60,000 square feet of dedicated computer/IT space, circa 35,000 square feet of administration and support offices, circa 35,000 square feet of internal plant/M&E space (no plant is external or visible) and circa 190 car parking spaces.

THE UNIQUE SELLING POINTS OF THE PROJECT

Information on the technicalities of the project, here are some of the highlights which make the Data Centre truly unique.

  • Once refurbished, the Computer Centre will offer ~60,000 square feet of IT space, ~35,000 square feet of M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) space, 35,000 square feet of NOC and offices, plus multiple meet-me rooms and other space. The total building square footage is ~150,000 sq ft gross (that’s almost the size of two professional football pitches).
  • The Computer Centre will be above UTI (Uptime Institute) Tier 4 classification of data centre tiering. One of few in the United Kingdom and Europe
  • The building is in the Enterprise Zone so all fibres lit from the building are free of fibre tax
  • The building is in the armed security zone of Manchester Airport.
  • Operating multiple DRUPS (diesel rotary uninterruptible power supply) and an IP Bus infrastructure. In addition to the DRUPS there is an option to install twin 5.8MW Gas Turbines.
  • Triple mains power feeds, diversely routed from a BSP (Bulk Supply Point) that is part of Critical National Infrastructure. Each feed comes from the A, B and C boards respectively at the BSP.
  • The facility will have the capacity of a primary substation on the network
  • The facility will be high security accredited.
  • The exterior of the building will be constructed to be highly secure and ballistic resistant.
  • The high floor loading of the building means it can support any IT infrastructure including high performance computers, supercomputers, mass storage silos, server racks, blade centres and anything else that a future occupier may wish to deploy.
  • Up to 2,000 fibre pairs from day one with the ability to add thousands more. It will have the ability to offer point to point fibre connectivity without being internet connected.
  • The building has line of sight to 5 points of the BT Microwave backbone.
  • Due to being built on a natural high point in Manchester, and with multiple satellite dishes, satellite orbits as low as 23 degrees South of the equator can still be connected to along with all of those satellites that are North of 23 degrees south, the East West limit is 60 degrees East and West of the site.
  • The facility will be able to get access to around 40% of all operational global satellites.
  • The site will hold underground diesel storage with a capacity of over 300,000 litres, capable of running the building for circa 11 days without a fuel tanker visiting.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

Additionally, the Data Centre is positioned within a high capture area for employment, and will no doubt have a positive effect on the regeneration of the surrounding area. If the facility is utilised for supercomputer, high performance computing, mass storage the employment requirement is anticipated to be circa 400 people.

In terms of accessibility, the Data Centre is situated 15-20 minutes drive from the centre of Manchester, and has easy access to the M56, M6, M60 and M62 motorway network. The centre is also located 5 minutes away from Manchester Airport, which has European and International flights (including the US, China and soon India) operating daily.

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