AUGUSTA — It’s been discussed for several years, but now the Sibley Mill in downtown Augusta is finally being redeveloped.
A company is turning the historic property into a state-of-the-art cyber campus.
Fort Gordon officials have long said that Cyber-related companies were on there way.
This seems to be the first major announcement for the cyber industry in Augusta.
City officials are hoping this project will be the flagship for all things technology.
The Augusta Canal Authority announced the 75-year lease of the Sibley Mill property to Cape Augusta Digital Properties.
The company will start by building a data center inside the historic building.
“A place where you can bring computers, normally you call them servers, but servers into a facility that’s powered on a 24/7/365 basis,” Cape Augusta CEO James Ainslie said.
Envision a physical location for the cloud we all use on our smart phones daily.
Ainslie is confident the data center will bring software and research companies to the Garden City.
“I’m hearing more and more the issue is making this place marketable for millennials. They need a place where they can build a career and a life. And so a vibrant cyber corridor, if you call it that, is important to that initiative,” Ainslie said.
Company officials were attracted to the Sibley Mill because of new market and historic property tax credits.
Another big selling point for the company is the Augusta Canal. The company will use the water to create electricity and to cool down the computers and servers.
“Data centers produce over 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions every year globally. And so that is a fundamental problem and this and similar sites can go a long way to making a difference for users that are sensitive to that,” Ainslie said.
Cape Augusta will employ a limited number of people, but as other companies show up, Ainslie expects job growth.
“Really it’s the people that come and operate inside your data center and around your data center, so we see this site anchoring at least 300 jobs,” Ainslie said.
Cape Augusta will break ground in a few weeks.
The property should be ready for use by November.
Company officials are hoping to have the data center operational in 2 years.