Next Tier HD Completes Phase I of Midtown Atlanta

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

On May 23, 2019, the Governor for the State of Georgia joined a delegation from the City of Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”), Next Tier HD, Portman Holdings and DataBank to cut the ribbon for the Coda project ( ). Located within the Technology Square sector of Midtown Atlanta, Coda co-locates big data, super computers and collaborative office space to create a highly curated research environment that is comprised of a 722,000 square foot office tower and a 100,000 square foot high density data center.

While the 22-story office tower developed by Portman Holdings ( ) introduces a refreshing twist to the world of collaborative architecture, the data center’s advanced, high density design allows Georgia Tech, and enterprise research affiliates, to deploy racks of computers using up to 10X the power of conventional IT configurations. Georgia Tech selected Next Tier HD to develop the data center after a national selection process because of their experience in developing high centers (

According to Tony Zivalich, Georgia Tech’s Executive Director of Real Estate, “The high performance computing center is the backbone of our research initiatives in big data and the associated analytics. We have over 11 research neighborhoods in the complex which includes business analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cyber, health analytics and energy/sustainability to name a few. We view this as a unique opportunity to create a living lab that not only supports research in these key areas, but research in how a data centers optimizes energy consumption, sustainability and operations in supporting research computing.”

Jim Coakley, Senior Managing Partner, “While we have built, bought or renovated over 3 million square feet of mission critical facilities, Coda is the most ingenious of them all. Even before we presented our capabilities, the entire team realized that we would be working with researchers, faculty, staff and students in creating a data center that would unravel the next generation of grand challenges of our time -- smart cities, carbon capture, world hunger, reforestation, or even, finally building George Jetson’s flying car.”

The challenge was to build the 4-story Coda data center on top of a 5-story parking garage, and partially under the adjoining 22-story office tower, and then find places for generators, chillers, cooling towers, water and fuel storage facilities, meet me rooms, support space and the data labs, all without straying beyond a strict 100,000 square foot air rights box. Coakley notes, “This was like building a rocket ship in a phone booth, and it required the entire development team to retool our perspective from square feet to square inches, with each phase passing muster with a room full of the Georgia Tech professionals tasked with supporting this research computing initiative.”

Next Tier HD competed for this opportunity in affiliation with the veteran mission critical team noted below and collaborated closely with the Portman Holding’s team throughout the process. Midway through the design development process, DataBank Holdings ( ) stepped in to provide the projected $100 million required to finish all phases of the development.

Georgia Tech has leased 25% of the data center’s critical power capacity, with expansion rights for an equivalent amount of space and power. Next Tier HD and DataBank are marketing space in the data center to companies seeking colocation, cloud, managed services, or hybrid data center solutions. While Next Tier HD developed the data center, DataBank was very involved throughout the process and now owns 100% of the results. DataBank’s facilities management staff is actively managing every aspect of the data center’s 24/7 operations.