The REIT stuff
- October 1, 2017: Vol. 29, Number 9

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The REIT stuff

by Michael Lester

In November 2015, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts started sorting data center REITs separately. Data centers had reached the NAREIT threshold of market capitalization and were classified as a stand-alone sector.

In a relatively short period of time, REITs have taken on a large portion of the data center marketplace. Fifteen years ago, “the overwhelming majority of these centers were operated by telecommunications companies — AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink — and they still own and operate a lot of centers. But the past three years have seen the last hurrah of telecommunications dominance. They soon realized that it’s too capital intensive and it needs too much focus from a business operation standpoint,” according to Todd Smith, chief technology officer at Transwestern Data Center Solutions.

“In 2009, 2010 and 2011, private businesses — banks, insurance companies, hospitals — were building large data centers,” continues Smith,

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