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ATLANTA-The 941,200-sf Metro Technology Center Atlanta enters a new phase in the structure’s 47-year-old life today with the opening of a multimillion-dollar, 120mVA power substation on Jefferson Street in Midtown. The building’s single tenant so far is Sprint Corp., occupying 100,000 sf.

“MTCA is the only building of its type in Atlanta with a dedicated electrical substation,” Michael Jacoby, president of Bethesda, MD-based Core Location, says in a prepared statement.

“Unlike most other carrier facilities in the area, we can expand our power supply to serve tenants with as much as 100 watts per sf, even if the building reaches full capacity.”

MTCA also is one of the few structures of its kind in the United States offering 650,000 sf of rentable space on a single level. Core Location and MetroNexus Inc., a Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds Enterprise company based in New York, have an $80 million investment in the telecommunications and Internet facility.

Core and MetroNexus dedicated their on-site substation yesterday (June 12) to Georgia Power. The station can provide equivalent power for 120,000 homes, a city the size of Albany, GA, according to the MTCA statement.

“With electricity prices rising and entire states struggling with power crises, MTCA now has a reliable abundant supply of power literally in our backyard,” Jacoby’s statement says.

An industry analyst, Russ McGuire, chief strategist at Tulsa, OK-based TeleChoice Inc., sees other telecom hotels following MTCA’s lead in the near future.

“As the telecom industry continues to grow, a pre-engineered facility like MTCA that is tailored specifically to telecommunications and Internet companies’ needs can help speed up the difficult process of locating in a new city and is increasingly valuable,” McGuire says in the MTCA statement.

To accommodate “true mission critical facilities, MTCA has designed pads for 60 two-megawatt emergency generators in the parking aprons surrounding the building with the ability to store fuel on-site for two days of run time,” says Core’s Jacoby in his statement. “With the substation now in operation, MTCA tenants can realize a faster time-to-market, reducing the time it would otherwise take to power up their operations.”

The original structure that now houses MTCA was built in 1954 by Sears Roebuck & Co. as a warehouse. The building was expanded to its current size in 1965 and was used for 36 years as the company’s Southeast distribution center. The property was also used as Space Center to store equipment during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Core renovated and upgraded the building last year.

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