Politics & Government

Large, costly Data Center won't be cheap for tenants

When three tenant agencies move into the higher grade space in the new State Data Center, their rent will jump by about $2.7 million a year, according to estimates last July by the governor's Office of Financial Management.

According to a consultant’s report, those costs could be $9.2 million over the next two budget years and $30.4 million through June 2017.

The higher rent is based on the $44-per-square-foot cost to build the data center offices. That rate is more than three times the $13.01 per foot agencies pay for state-owned buildings on the Capitol Campus. And it is roughly double the $11.90 to $27 per square foot for state-leased offices in Thurston County.

The $44-per-square-foot cost of the space also is much higher than the $28-per-square-foot cost that local real estate expert Pat Rants identified last year as the most expensive in Thurston County. DIS and OFM have cited their market study that said comparable space would cost $37.50 per square foot locally.

DIS officials have emphasized that their high-tech structure has no local equivalent. It has underground parking, a 75- to 100-year lifespan, stone-clad exterior to mirror the monument-style buildings on the Capitol Campus, and other amenities such as a $6 million change to a nearby intersection. It also is built to qualify for the highest “green” or environmental rating.

Because Information Services, the Department of Personnel and the Office of Financial Management provide services to other state agencies, they will cover their increased rents by charging higher rates to the agencies that use their services, according to OFM.