Round Rock approves rezoning of new tech campus next to Dell

Two plots of land adjacent to Dell Technologies’ global headquarters are being zoned for an upcoming new data center in Round Rock.

City council voted unanimously Thursday to dezone 35.71 acres at a planned unit development for Las Vegas-based tech company Switch. Brad Wiseman, the city’s director of planning and development, told a city council meeting on Tuesday that the zoning was recommended by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

“It is currently zoned general commercial, which allows for a wide variety of uses, but the data center is not currently listed in our development code,” Wiseman said. “The purpose of the PUD is to identify the data center as an authorized use on the property. It just indicates that use would be permitted on the property, essentially creating a custom zoning district to enable the data center. ”

Wiseman said the property was developed by Dell and the two plots will be on either side of its corporate headquarters. The data center will be built on the two plots.

Brad Wiseman, Round Rock's director of planning and development, told a board meeting on Thursday that the two Switch plots will be on either side of the Dell facility.

“Since Dell’s founding in 1984, we’ve seen central Texas become a hub of technology and innovation for the benefit of the entire community,” said Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, in a press release. “With this agreement, we welcome Switch to a wonderful neighborhood and at the same time continue to expand our relationships with major data center service providers.”

Switch will build a 1.5 million square foot campus next to Dell that will serve as the fifth campus called the Rock.

“This is another milestone in the growth of our business to further extend our geographic diversity to the central region of the United States,” said Rob Roy, founder of Switch, in a press release. “Being strategically located next to the Dell Technologies headquarters is an opportunity to continue to expand our offerings of the world’s most advanced data center infrastructure to current and future Switch customers. ”

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While the number of jobs associated with the new data center has yet to be announced, city officials have said Switch will become Round Rock’s first data center and plan to begin site preparation this summer.

Switch also has locations in Reno, Nevada; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Atlanta. All its facilities, including its new location in Round Rock, will be powered by renewable energies, according to its website.

Wiseman said standards for the data center will include a 20-foot-high security enclosure wall, sturdy landscaping to enhance the S. Mays streetscape, site lighting, and a communications tower. 80 feet high.

“The wall will have a modern architectural appearance and although there will be no internal site landscaping behind the wall, we will include an enhanced landscape to soften this wall and beautify the appearance of the development from the hallway. from Main Street, ”Wiseman mentioned.

Mayor Craig Morgan has said he appreciates Switch’s efforts.

“Having conversations and talking about things that will work in the neighborhood makes it a lot easier for us,” Morgan said.

“This is the next evolution of our business,” said Robert Elliott, vice president of Switch. “We’ve been around since 2000 – for 22 years and we’ve grown steadily as data has increased across the country. This is our fifth campus we’re building and we’re just super excited to start and be a part of the tech economy here at Round Rock. ”

Elliott said he thanked city staff and Richard Parson, president of the Kensington Neighborhood Association, for guiding them to take the time to speak with residents.

“When you have someone who is literally an ambassador for your city and who really took us under their wing and made sure we took the time to meet our new neighbors, hear their concerns and address their concerns. questions, ”Elliott said of Parson. “We are very excited and our founder is very happy to see us start our investment here in Round Rock.”

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