Published on: 3/19/2014 9:49:18 AM Print | Font Sizes:  Normal Text Large Text

Study to determine need for data centre


By: Northern Ontario Business staff

The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre is one partner in a new initiative seeking to bring a data centre to the city. (FILE PHOTO)
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre is one partner in a new initiative seeking to bring a data centre to the city. (FILE PHOTO)

A feasibility study is being conducted to determine the viability of locating a data centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

A data centre houses technology such as computer systems, telecommunications and data storage, and is often relied upon for backing up data for major corporations and organizations.

The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and the city’s Economic Development Corp. are heading up the initiative. They’ve hired Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), a commercial real estate advisory firm with offices in Toronto and Ottawa, to do the study.

“Sault Ste. Marie offers unique advantages for data centre facilities, including a surplus of renewable energy, enhanced broadband service and its strategic location as a border city to the United States,” said Tom Vair, executive director of the innovation centre, in a news release. “We look forward to working with local anchor tenants and the NGKF team on this promising market study.”

Vair said this is the next step in growing the information communications technology sector in the Sault.

The firm will gauge the interest of businesses, community stakeholders and potential future data centre customers, and evaluate the city’s advantages in the marketplace. It will then provide recommendations based on its findings.

“Through both our site selection work with corporate clients and our economic development work with local and senior governments, our goal is assess and identify geographic opportunities for new investment, and facilitate economic growth in the best locations,” said Gregg Wassmansdorf, senior managing director with NGKF Global Corporate Consulting. “We’re excited by the data centre potential in Sault Ste. Marie and we look forward to advancing the innovation centre’s vision for this growing and important sector.”

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