Data Center Site Locations are cheap, so easy to pick another one, example Verizon cancels Buffalo project

Data Center Site selection is not open and transparent.  It is purposely obscure how decisions are made and the criteria used to make decisions.  What few understand is given how cheap the land is for a location vs. the data center construction cost, IT equipment, and OPEX a site is rarely so valuable that a company doesn't have alternative sites they can choose from.

Rich Miller at DataCenterKnowledge asks a good question whether Verizon's acquisition of Terremark or local lawsuits in Buffalo cancelled the Verizon project in Buffalo.

Did Terremark Deal Scuttle New Verizon Projects?

March 21st, 2011 : Rich Miller

The NAP of the Capital Region in Culpeper, Virginia is among the data center assets Verizon expects to acquire once it closes its acquisition of Terremark.

There’s plenty of finger-pointing going on among local officials in the Buffalo area following Thursday’s announcement that Verizon will not proceed with plans to build a proposed 900,000 square foot data center project in Somerset, N.Y. Some blamed delays in land acquisition, but there was also anger about the role played by a lawsuitfrom local resident Mary Ann Rizzo, who felt a proper environmental review was not conducted for the project.

What is going on is the smart companies are picking sites with options to build with good cancellation terms.  Why lock yourself into a site when the land cost is 2% or less of the construction cost and less than 1% of the overall TCO.

There are also many data center projects that have been put on hold by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, and many others.

The one person who is happy is Mary Ann Rizzo who filed the lawsuit, but she also made many enemies now that the Verizon project is cancelled.

Senator blames woman for Verizon departure

Updated: Friday, 18 Mar 2011, 7:36 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 17 Mar 2011, 10:16 PM EDT

SOMERSET, N.Y. (WIVB) - Verizon has hung up on a multi-billion dollar data center in Somerset. State Senator George Maziarz blames a legal challenge from a nearby landowner.

Art Giacalone is cautiously celebrating a victory.

"It's hard to breathe a huge sigh of relief because I frankly have not trusted much of what they've said for months now," said Giacalone.

Many blame his client, Mary Ann Rizzo, for Verizon pulling the plug on plans to build a $4 billion data center on farmland in the town of Somerset. Rizzo owns 116 acres across the road from the land Verizon was eyeing.

Senator George Maziarz said, "It just shows you how one person who owns property across the street, doesn't even live on the property, but just owns property across the street has killed this up to $5 billion project."