DTZ has announced that the development partnership of Urbacon Data Center Solutions Group and FTQ has revised design and construction plans for the joint venture’s Montreal Central Business District (CBD) project, the city’s only standalone, purpose-built data center.

The revisions, which involve a second location for the property’s generators, place the project ahead of schedule and on pace for tenant fit up in the fourth quarter — vs. a previously announced completion date of second-quarter 2016. The project team also has negotiated additional capacity from Hydro-Quebec to provide a total of 20 MVA of renewable energy to the site. DTZ’s Global Data Center Solutions Group and a team of Canadian market experts in Montreal and Toronto have been retained as the exclusive broker to represent Urbacon in the leasing process. 

Located in the heart of Montreal’s Financial District, an existing building at 544 Rue De L’Inspecteur (the “heritage” building) is being converted into 19,000 sq ft of leasable office space, while an adjacent 10-story building, built to green standards and to the highest security standards for server and data hosting, will add another 234,000 sq ft. Revised construction plans call for the addition of a fifth floor to the heritage building to house more generators for the data center. The addition of the fifth floor generator room to the heritage building accelerates the construction schedule.

“We have approached the challenge of CBD redevelopment with a creative solution that delivers the best option for our data center clients, who will now be able to utilize our Montreal project six months ahead of schedule,” said Peter Russell, vice president of Urbacon. “Globally, the demand for multi-story data centers has been verified by their success in cities like New York, Dallas, Singapore, Hong Kong and London, to name a few. We anticipate similar demand in Montreal.”

With the lack of a major CBD carrier hotel, the new Urbacon facility will be the jewel of the Montreal market for both hosting and interconnection. The project will also be the city’s largest, most secure mission critical facility.

Slated to have eight floors of white space with floorplates ranging from 20,000 to 28,000 sq ft with a total of 20 MVA, the building also features on-site, underground fuel storage and offers users flexible data center floor design options. The fully developed project represents more than $200 million in base building and tenant infrastructure investment and will add significant employment opportunities for IT professionals in Montreal.

“Our 544 project proves that the barriers to multi-story data center adaptive reuse are mythical, and these developments actually represent an opportunity to build scale and reduce costs,” said Normand Bélanger, president and CEO of the Fonds Immobilier de Solidarité FTQ. “Where population and ecommerce dictate, a downtown metropolitan data center achieves greater returns for tenants and operators alike if you follow the purpose-built approach.”

James Cali, DTZ senior vice president and head of the firm’s Global Data Center Solutions Group, is providing technical advisory and assisting the Canadian brokerage team in the lease-up of the space. Vice president Peter A. Schmidt, B.A.A., SIOR, in DTZ’s Richmond Hill, Ontario, office will oversee the leasing phase with George Manousis, Directeur de Succursale of the Montreal office of DTZ.

“This project represents the evolution of the data center in Montreal as well as a prevailing global trend,” said Cali. “The case for CBD data center redevelopment has improved dramatically with the advent of purpose-built facilities in key markets. 544 is yet another prime example, especially with our plans for early delivery.”