STRATACACHE owner and CEO Chris Riegel is continuing his affection for finding mothballed technology facilities, presumably at very good rates, and reviving them as active operations for his group of digital signage-focused companies.
Most of the STRATACACHE building portfolio is in the immediate orbit of Dayton, Ohio, but the company today announced it has bought a big building in Waterloo, Iowa that it will turn on as a Network Operations Center and data hosting facility.
Says the company:
The Waterloo facility is 162,000 square feet with an extensive raised floor data center and operations areas on 17 acres, which will allow STRATACACHE to more than double current network support operations capacity from 700 to more than 1700 seats in North America.
STRATACACHE already has network operations facilities in Dayton, OH, and Eugene, OR. All three centers, including Waterloo, will do hosting and support, and mirror each other to maximize uptime.
The facility was previously used by a large commercial lending company, and served as a call and hosting center. This site was previously occupied by Ocwen Financial Corp., which services residential and commercial mortgage loans. It laid off about 175 people and closed the Waterloo office in mid-2019.
“Despite a challenging economic environment, we’re proud to be expanding our business and investing in resources to support our customers, while creating new technology focused jobs in the middle of the country. As the need for leading marketing technology solutions expands globally, we will continue to grow our team to support the mission,” says Riegel. “There has been a steady outmigration of operational support jobs and call centers to India and Asia. The reactivation of this facility aligns with advancement in the Waterloo area, and reinforces STRATACACHE’s commitment to growing cutting edge, well-paid technology jobs in the U.S. heartland.”
Nice to see tech jobs growing in a part of the country where there probably isn’t a whole pile of that kind of work. There are definitely tech companies in flyover states like Iowa, but locally the biggest employers do meat processing and make tractors. The only digital signage company I know in Iowa is Arreya, which is about an hour away in the Cedar Rapids area.
Riegel has picked up numerous properties in recent years that were sitting empty, under-used or undervalued. He picked up an entire office tower in Dayton for less than the cost of a brownstone in Manhattan, and an empty plant in Eugene, OR. that STRATACACHE has pegged as a NOC will also be the site of a microLED plant.
The property features two buildings, 161,609 SF Class A office building which comes fully furnished and a standalone 7,134 SF building used as a storage and maintenance facility by the previous owner, sitting on 14+ acres. Amenities include 900+ desks including cubicle walls, chairs, cubicle accessories, furnished fitness center, locker rooms, large commercial kitchen, cafeteria seating 187 people, indoor and outdoor dining and break areas, 6 large training rooms, numerous conference rooms, two UPS backups, and two generators. The parking lot has 878 parking spaces. Also on the property is a large and beautifully maintained pond creating a scenic and peaceful view. The property’s location is ideal, with easy access to HWY 20, and is in walking distance of Waterloo’s commercial corridor which houses many restaurants, grocery stores, and retail stores.
Not the easiest place to get to, though there are two flights a day (at least there were in much more normal times) from Chicago. Des Moines is about a two hour drive.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.