Altoona is the Largest Meta Data Center – WORLDWIDE!

Meta – previously known as Facebook – recently announced a final expansion at the Altoona Data Center. This final expansion will make the site the company’s largest operational data center WORLDWIDE!

The expansion, which involves two new buildings, is projected to be completed in 2025. In total, the Altoona Meta Data Center will occupy more than 5,000,000 square feet.

Interestingly, Meta announced the expansion at an event celebrating seven graduates from the Hardhat in Hand program. The innovative eight-week program – which launched in Iowa – partners with local academic institutions and businesses including Des Moines Area Community College and Turner Construction, Meta’s general contractor, to educate and train students for employment in the skilled workforce. 

In a boost to local employment, the Altoona Meta Data Center currently employs over 400 people in its 100% renewable wind energy powered buildings.

I’d love to talk more about the exciting things happening in and around Altoona and Des Moines. Feel free to contact me about how your commercial real estate development might fit into the bustling Altoona and Des Moines communities.

Commercial Real Estate Definitions [GUIDE]

What Is Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial real estate is property used exclusively for business-related purposes . As such, it provides a workspace rather than a living space. A property that provides a living space would instead constitute residential real estate. Commercial real estate properties are most often leased out to conduct income-generating activities. This real estate category can include a single storefront, a giant shopping center or an office complex, for example
Did you pass our pop quiz? If not, or if you need to brush up on your terms, check out our commercial real estate definitions guide below.
  • Build-to-Suit: A property developed specifically for a certain tenant to occupy, with structural features, systems, or improvement work designed specifically for the needs of that tenant.
  • Cap Rate: Short for “capitalization rate,” the cap rate refers to the ratio of Net Operating Income (NOI) to property asset value. (e.g. A building with a NOI of $10,000 valued at a 5% Cap is worth: 10,000/0.5 = $200,000)
  • CBD: Central Business District
  • Delivery/Delivery Date: The time when a building completes construction and receives a certificate of occupancy.
  • Full-Service (FS) Rental Rate: A rental rate that includes all operating expenses such as utilities, electricity, janitorial services, taxes, and insurance.
  • Landlord: The owner of a property that is rented or leased to a tenant.
  • Landlord Representation: When a broker represents an owner/landlord in a typical lease transaction between an owner/landlord and a tenant.
  • LOI: Letter of Intent
  • Modified Gross (MG) Rental Rate: A rental rate that includes some of the operating expenses such as electricity, utilities, taxes, janitorial services, and insurance, but not all. Often the tenant will pay for janitorial and utilities while the other operating expenses will be included in the rental rate. It is important to clarify this with the owner or broker.
  • Preleased Space: Space that has been leased to a tenant and announced for future development but is not yet under construction.
  • PM: Property Manager. An individual who oversees all operational aspects of a building. Once a tenant signs a lease, it is the Property Manager who will assist the tenant with any questions, the build-out of the space, and any on-going issues once they have moved in.
  • PSF: Per Square Foot
  • Punch List: A final checklist of work that needs to be done to a property before the end of construction.
  • RFP: Request for Proposal
  • ROI: Return on Investment
  • RSF: Rentable Square Feet
  • Second Generation Space: Space that has had a prior tenant and therefore has modifications (such as walls, doors, ceiling treatments, etc.) that can often be used by a subsequent tenant.
  • Shell Space: A building space that has an unfinished interior and requires improvements.
  • Sublease/Sublet Space: Space that has been leased by a tenant and is being offered for lease back to the market by that tenant.
  • Tenant: A person, business, or group that pays rent to an owner or landlord for the right to use/occupy a property or space.
  • Tenant Representation: When a broker represents a tenant in a typical lease transaction between a tenant and an owner/landlord.
  • TI: Tenant Improvement
  • Triple-Net (NNN) Rental Rate: A rental rate that excludes all operating expenses such as electricity, utilities, taxes, janitorial services, and insurance. These expenses are expected to be paid directly by the tenant.
  • Vacancy Rate: The percentage of physically vacant space divided by the total amount of existing inventory.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email!

New Railroad Transfer Station to Come to Des Moines

With the construction of a new railroad transfer station Des Moines will be open to global markets!

Des Moines has seized a “huge opportunity” according to Mayor Frank Cownie. Building a $15.6 million railroad transfer station will be a “boon” to the local economy. It is proposed to not only lower shipping costs but also create new jobs.

The facility, a “railport,” will link Des Moines to destinations all across the country. It will be built along four rail lines on East Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and will be a transfer point where materials move from semitrailers to trains. Companies with multiple railroads can save “up to 50% on shipping costs” indicates an MPO study. This will be a huge economic benefit as currently Des Moines’ existing facility is “limited” and central Iowa companies don’t have an option to ship using railroads.

Thanks to an $11.2 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant, the project could break ground as early as the end of 2019! According to David Maahs, executive vice president of economic development for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the project enables Des Moines to “be competitive with other metropolitan areas in the Midwest.” Luke Schryver, vice president of business development for Green Products Company adds: “it will add another arrow to our quiver.”

Being located at the intersection of Highways 35 and 80, Des Moines is already a “trucking hub.” The railport will provide another option and “increase flexibility” for customers. Not only will it entice businesses to the area, it will also enable current businesses to expand. An added benefit is that it can also be used by the Iowa National guard to transport military equipment thereby lowering its transportation costs. 

This is a thrilling time for Des Moines and surrounding communities! Serving companies within a 150-mile radius, the railport has been projected to “benefit the entire region.”

I’d love to talk more about the exciting things Des Moines has to offer. Feel free to contact me about how your commercial real estate needs might be part of Des Moines’ growth and expansion into global markets.

To read more about this exciting project, see:

Renovating School Sparks Creativity and Innovation

Des Moines is reinventing and repurposing!

Schools are institutions that spark creativity and innovation. If plans come through, Franklin Junior High will embody both of those qualities. Jeff Young, owner of We Can Build It, has ideas to renovate the former Franklin Junior High School in a creative, innovative way — creating a mixed-use venue consisting of hotel rooms, office space, an eatery, and boutique bars. According to the Des Moines Register, Young’s “eclectic concept” includes converting the old classrooms into hotel rooms and offices and creating a restaurant out of the cafeteria. He also envisions using the gymnasiums for larger events or weddings.

The building, build in 1948, has been used as a public and private school, as well as a place of worship. The site was beautifully kept; and educating teens for years within its walls steeps the building in deep memories. Using the rich history and traditions of the building will add to the charm of the project.

While this is new and exciting for Des Moines, renovating schools is not a totally unique idea as Young is modeling the concept after historic renovations in the Pacific Northwest. Young plans to draw on the Pacific Northwest ideas as he strives to create “something that unites the people in the neighborhood.” Speaking with neighborhood associations, Young has been gathering input so neighborhoods feel invested and “take ownership.” As excitement builds, the neighborhood associations are “very optimistic that this area will become a unique place within [the] city.”

I’d love to talk more about the exciting, unique things happening in Des Moines. Feel free to contact me about how your commercial real estate development might fit into the Beaverdale, Merle Hay and Waveland Park neighborhoods.