Mexico City, one of the largest metros in Latin America, is driving a data center boom in Querétaro, a small state located ~125 miles (~200 kilometers) northwest of Mexico’s capital. With multi-tenant data center providers including Equinix, Ascenty (Digital Realty and Brookfield), CloudHQ, ODATA, Scala Data Centers, and KIO Networks, all either operating or developing facilities in Querétaro, Mexico, it is expected that the market will grow by 250+ megawatts of power capacity in the next few years.
Background – Querétaro Supports Mexico City’s Data Center Demand
According to Querétaro’s Ministry of Economy, there are 141 IT companies in the state and 9 operational data centers. Furthermore, including announced data center development projects and those under negotiation, Querétaro is expected to be home to over 25 data centers in the medium-term.
Querétaro, Mexico has a number of unique features, which make it an attractive market, in particular, for hyperscale data center operators. Specifically, Querétaro’s features include:
- Abundant power supply from the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Mexico’s state-owned electric utility company
- Government support from the Secretaría de Desarrollo Sustentable (SEDESU), an economic development organization of the State of Querétaro
- Proximity to major economic centers, predominantly Mexico City
- Fiber-optic connectivity and backbones available in the region
- Low probability of natural disasters, principally earthquakes, which occur in Mexico City
Collectively, these factors are driving a boom in both demand and construction for hyperscale data center space in Querétaro, Mexico. In particular, this customer demand is coming from cloud service providers and over-the-top (OTT) media services. For example, cloud service providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud, are all planning to open cloud regions in Querétaro.
Below, Dgtl Infra details the major multi-tenant data center operators adding supply to Querétaro’s burgeoning data center market. Subsequently, we review disclosures from the global cloud service providers which are supporting Querétaro with their capacity demand.
Multi-Tenant Data Centers – Querétaro, Mexico
Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX) owns three IBX (retail) data centers in Mexico, after acquiring them from Axtel for a total purchase consideration of ~$189m, including $175m in cash. Two of Equinix’s data centers, known as MX1 and MX2, serve the Mexico City metro with 43k sqft of colocation space in Querétaro.
Additionally, Equinix is developing one hyperscale (xScale) data center in Mexico City, called MX3, with its first phase being Mexico City 3x-1, which may be in Querétaro as well.
Equinix’s MX1 data center is located in the Parque Tecnológico Innovación at Lte 79, El Marques in Querétaro, Mexico. Specifically, MX1 comprises 37k sqft of colocation space and 110k gross sqft.
Equinix’s MX2 data center is located in the Parque Tecnológico Innovación at Lte 80, El Marques in Querétaro, Mexico. Particularly, MX2 comprises 6k sqft of colocation space and 80k gross sqft.
Initially, in Q1 2022, Equinix expects to add 1,075 cabinet equivalent capacity to MX2 at a cost of $54m. Ultimately, this facility will provide Equinix with expansion opportunities of up to 8 megawatts of power capacity and 60k sqft of colocation space.
MX3 / Mexico City 3x-1
Equinix, via its xScale joint venture, is building the first phase of its MX3 data center, known as Mexico City 3x-1, at a cost of $58m. This facility will have 4 megawatts of power capacity when its first phase opens in Q2 2022. Through subsequent phases, Equinix expects to scale MX3 to 14 megawatts of power capacity, at a total cost of $140m.
Additionally, Equinix is in negotiations to sell the MX3 data center site into a new joint venture with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund – referred to as the AMER 1 Joint Venture.
Ascenty, which is jointly-owned by Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) and Brookfield Infrastructure, is building two major data centers in Querétaro, Mexico, that it plans to open in 2022. Together, these facilities, known as México 1 and México 2, will comprise 52 megawatts of power capacity across 473k sqft of floor space.
Per Digital Realty, as of Q4 2021, Ascenty has 108.2k sqft of space under active development and a further 376.2k sqft of space as held for development in Querétaro, Mexico. As such, ~22% of Ascenty’s total capacity in Querétaro, Mexico appears to be under construction.
Ascenty’s México 1 data center is located in the VESTA Querétaro Industrial Park at Camino a Nativitas 800, 76295 Colón, in Querétaro, Mexico. Specifically, México 1 will offer 21 megawatts of power capacity and 2.7k racks, across 215k sqft of total area. In terms of layout, the facility will have 8 data halls, each with 2 megawatts of power capacity.
Ascenty’s México 2 data center is located in the Arkansas State University Campus Querétaro at Carretera Estatal 100, km 17.5, Municipio Colón, in Querétaro, Mexico. Particularly, México 2 will offer 31 megawatts of power capacity and 3.4k racks, across 258k sqft of total area. In terms of layout, the facility will have 10 data halls, each with 2 megawatts of power capacity.
CloudHQ, a hyperscale data center developer and operator, is in the process of developing a hyperscale data center campus in Querétaro, Mexico, with an investment that is expected to exceed $600m.
As displayed below, CloudHQ’s Executive Vice President, Jose Fraga, states that Querétaro has optimal conditions for a data center campus given “highly-qualified talent, excellent infrastructure, and a very proactive government committed to new investments”.
Furthermore, Francisco Domínguez Servién, who previously served as Governor of Querétaro, stated that CloudHQ’s total investment could reach up to 14.9bn Mexican Pesos (~$725m USD). Economically, CloudHQ expects that its data center development project in Querétaro will generate more than 1,000 highly-skilled direct and indirect jobs.
ODATA, a hyperscale data center provider, is 90%-owned by Patria Investments and 10%-owned by CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE). Per the company’s website, ODATA has two data center development projects in Querétaro, Mexico, with one under construction and one “coming soon”. These ODATA facilities are DC QR01 and DC QR02.
ODATA’s DC QR01 data center is located in the Parque Industrial Querétaro in Querétaro, Mexico. Specifically, DC QR01 will offer 12 megawatts of IT power capacity across 29.1k sqft (2.7k sqm) of raised floor / 88.9k sqft (8.3k sqm) of built area, in phase 1.
Ultimately, ODATA’s DC QR01 campus can scale up to 32 megawatts of power capacity and 4.0k racks, across 327k sqft (30.4k sqm) of built area on its 563k sqft (52.4k sqm) land plot.
ODATA expects to make an initial investment of more than $100m in its DC QR01 data center. Importantly, this facility is anchored by an 8-megawatt commitment from a global cloud service provider and is expected to launch in early 2022.
Scala Data Centers
Scala Data Centers, a hyperscale data center developer and operator, is owned by DigitalBridge, through the DigitalBridge Partners I (DBP I) private equity fund. In Querétaro, Scala is building two data center campuses with construction having commenced on its first facility, which it expects will become operational in 2023.
KIO Networks, a data center operator with 40 facilities in Mexico and Central America, has backing from I Squared Capital, an infrastructure private equity firm. The company currently operates in Querétaro, Mexico through its QRO|1 data center which offers 53.8k sqft (5.0k sqm) of technical floor area, across five computer rooms.
Additionally, KIO Networks notes that it has significant expansion potential at its data centers, particularly in Mexico City and Querétaro.
Cloud Service Providers – Querétaro, Mexico
Cloud service providers are driving multi-megawatt leasing deals for the aforementioned multi-tenant data center operators in Querétaro.
In 2022, cloud service providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and Huawei Cloud, are all planning to open or expand their cloud regions in Mexico, with deployments in Querétaro being a key focus. Further details on their plans are provided below:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): establishing a cloud region in Mexico by deploying three availability zones, with at least one new data center reportedly in Querétaro. Additionally, AWS will be opening an AWS Local Zone in Querétaro, Mexico
- Microsoft Azure: creating a cloud region in Querétaro, Mexico with three availability zones, which the company is naming Mexico Central
- Oracle Cloud: launching a cloud region in Querétaro, Mexico in 2022
- Huawei Cloud: adding a second data center to its Mexico cloud region