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Pittsburgh company buys Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona data center in Phoenix

Phoenix Business Journal

Pittsburgh-based Expedient opened its first Phoenix data center Tuesday, a 45,000-square-foot, 2.4-megawatt data center that had been formerly operated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

Blue Cross Blue Shield will continue to be the anchor tenant at the data center, Bryan Smith, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Expedient, said.

Like most of Expedient’s other properties, this one was developed in 2010, when companies were not clear how much their data center needs would be. This left data centers underutilized, Smith said, so Expedient then will operate the facility as a multitenant data center, and the original user, in this case Blue Cross Blue Shield, remains as a tenant.

Smith said this particular data center, at 2475 W. Townley Ave., only had 25% to 30% utilization.

The data center is the company’s first in Phoenix, where it had already been operating its cloud-based services.

According to real estate database Vizzda, Romans Properties bought the building from Blue Cross Blue Shield for $11 million. Smith said Expedient owns and operates the buildings, but the land is owned by their real estate partner.

In most markets where Expedient operates, the company owns more than one data center, Smith said. As the company gets to capacity on its first data center, he said it will look for more options in the Phoenix area.

According to national research from JLL, Phoenix had 32 megawatts of data center space under construction in the first half of 2021, making it one of the strongest data center markets in the country.

“Expedient’s investment helps meet the needs of Greater Phoenix’s thriving and expansive business ecosystem with multi-cloud solutions,” Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said in a statement. “We congratulate Expedient on the opening of its latest data center in Phoenix and the company’s continued growth within the region.”

Smith said Expedient serves a broad range of industries and types of clients, but some of the larger users include financial services, insurance, education, manufacturing and software.

Smith said the data center will employ about 15 to 20 local people and will also allow the company’s remote workers to be based in Phoenix. Expedient has about 75 roles that are not geographic based.

“Having Expedient here locally, in region, is a game changer for us,” Weldon Wu, CIO at the LA Regional Food Bank, a tenant at the new Phoenix data center facility, said in a statement. “They have been an instrumental partner in helping us better manage our ongoing cloud costs while optimizing workload and application performance. They continue to help us on our cloud journey, finding new ways to drive greater efficiencies and bottom-line results.”


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