Philly Tech People News 7/13/2014

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Lehigh University names 1984 graduate as interim president (Express-Times)

Philadelphia Technology Park acquired by St. Louis firm

Tom Paine

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Philadelphia Technolology Park / via PTP website

St.Louis-based TierPoint LLC, following its recent acquisition and recapitalization by a new ownership group, late last month announced it had acquired the 25,700 square foot Philadelphia Technology Park, which is located at the Navy Yard. It will be rebranded under the TierPoint name.

It brings to seven the number of centers owned and operated by TierPoint, the others being in Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Spokane, Seattle and Baltimore. The smaller Baltimore unit was owned by the same company that owned the Philadelphia facility before this most recent transaction, Enterprise Technology Parks, until it was acquired by TierPoint predecessor Cequel Data Centers last year.

Philadelphia Technology Park was originally planned to support data center operations of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX), but after the PHLX was acquired by the NASDAQ in 2008 the facility was repositioned for other uses in the local market. I've had difficulty in tracing the precise ownership structure of the prior owner (Enterprise Technology Parks), but a article in Web Host Industry Review at the time of the park's opening in 2010 said "PTP has worked closely with the PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation) on this expansion into the local marketplace."

Liberty Property Trust remains owner of the physical building, the Inquirer reported.

TierPoint looks at areas that are relatively underserved but growing, said TierPoint CFO Andy Stewart in an interview with Philly Tech News. The Philadelphia market is a good example of that, nestled between the highly served New York/Northern NJ and DC/Northern VA markets.

TierPoint looks to expand within the markets it locates in, Stewart says. While there is certainly plenty of room to grow by optimizing the configuration and utilization of the Navy Yard site, Stewart suggests that TierPoint may ultimately chose to expand in the area by acquiring other sites, rather than physically expanding at the Navy Yard site.

While SunGard Availability Services is a large player in the Philadelphia market in terms of colocation, managed services and disaster recovery, Stewart sees TierPoint's role more as a retail provider to the midmarket, competing against firms such as Xand.

TierPoint offers colocation, cloud and managed services. Cloud services can be public, private, or a combination thereof, and cloud offerings include production, disaster recovery, and backup cloud. TierPoint's cloud platform is built around technologies from vendors such as VMware, Dell, and Fortinet.

Terms of the acquisition of TierPoint LLC last month by a group of investors were not disclosed. Members of the investor group include Jerry Kent, founder of Charter
Communications and presently CEO of the seventh largest cable provider, Suddenlink Communications, and the powerful Stephens Group of Arkansas.

The Philadelphia Technology Park originally cost $25 million to build. The terms of its recent sale were also not disclosed.

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