Merlin Properties, the largest REIT in Spain and Portugal, has been named in press reports from Expansión noting that the company will invest ~€100m to build a hyperscale data center in the Parc Logístic de la Zona Franca (PLZF), a logistics and industrial park located in the Sants-Montjuïc district of Barcelona, Spain. Notably, the logistics and industrial park, which spans 35.5 hectares (3.8 million sqft), is already 100%-owned by Merlin Properties.
This report closely follows Merlin Properties’ announcement in April 2021, disclosing that the company would build four hyperscale data centers. Specifically, these broader plans contemplate building an initial 80 megawatts of power capacity in four cities of Spain and Portugal.
Data Center Build-Out in Barcelona – Merlin Properties
Merlin Properties will develop a €100m Barcelona data center on a 280k sqft (26.0k sqm) land plot located in Parc Logístic de la Zona Franca (PLZF). Upon completion, the facility will have 24 megawatts of power capacity and built area of 248k sqft (23.0k sqm), distributed over four floors, with twelve server rooms.
Merlin Properties expects to commence construction of the building in 2022. The first phase, comprising 16 megawatts of power capacity will be ready for service during 2023.
The company is building the Barcelona data center in what is currently a vacant lot, but often functions as a makeshift baseball field. Specifically, the site is located next to the Parc Logístic metro station. Additionally, the site is next to the headquarters of Cellnex, Europe’s largest independent tower company.
Development Partner – Edged Energy
Merlin Properties and Edged Energy, a subsidiary of Endeavour, have partnered on the Barcelona hyperscale data center build-out. Also, both groups have partnered on the three previously disclosed projects. Specifically, the pair are building hyperscale data centers in Madrid and Bilbao in Spain, and Lisbon in Portugal.
Barcelona – Data Center Market
Barcelona represents a significant economic and population hub in Spain, with 1.6 million people. However, the city’s data center market remains relatively nascent.
Merlin Properties’ key data center competitors in Barcelona, Spain will include Equinix (BA1), EdgeConneX, bitNAP Datacenter, Adam Ecotech, and Colt Data Centre Services (DCS). Notably, Equinix has only invested $21.8m to-date into its BA1 data center facility in Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona will also gain importance as a hub for cloud service providers as future subsea cables land at its shores. For example, the anticipated landing of the ~$1bn 2Africa subsea cable, which will be ready for service in 2023, will bring more network capacity and route diversity to the city. Indeed, additional demand from cloud service providers will be important to leasing Merlin Properties’ hyperscale data center.