Data center looking at L'burg

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lewisburg is one of 80 prospective locations for a data center, according to the city's industrial development director.

Speaking to Lewisburg's Industrial Development Board on Monday, Industrial Development Director Terry Wallace reminded IDB members of discussions with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

A data center would be a TVA electric customer and is seen as a prospective employer for area residents.

Wallace rarely speaks of a prospective business for this community, but he's described some, including the data center that "needs redundancy in fiber optics" in case one avenue for communications fails.

"We used to have just AT&T," Wallace said, "but now Charter (cable TV) is stringing fiber."

Without disclosing more details, Wallace only added that "Lewisburg is one of 80 communities selected" as a prospective location worth inspecting. "They will be here next week."

Also during his monthly report to IDB members, Wallace said another industrial prospect "has requested 600 acres with rail."

Access to CSX railroad tracks is frequently an important aspect of business since trains can economically transport large quantities of materials.

"The only place that would be possible is south of here," Wallace said in Lewisburg City Hall.

Also Monday, Mike Wiles, executive director of the local Joint Economic and Community Development Board, reported that he and Greg Lowe, the city codes officer and one of Wallace's assistant for economic development attended to the recent International Conference of Shopping Centers.

Retail developers, construction contractors, economic developers, Realtors and others interested in shopping centers and related development meet annually.

"The primary things I talked about were restaurants," Wiles said.

While there are McDonald's restaurants in Lewisburg and Cornersville, there's interest for a McDonald's in Chapel Hill, he said.

Attendance at the conference was up from last year, he said. However, participation was still lower than it had been a couple of years ago.