Old-school telephone companies are wrestling with a dilemma their younger rivals would love to have: what to do with all that real estate. Buildings accumulated over decades, from windowless and fortresslike switching centers built to handle landline gear to modern warehouses filled with web servers, are up for sale after their telecom owners decided to focus on wireless services. Data centers provide the brawn behind today’s brainy smartphones by housing the machines that make apps and websites run smoothly. It is usually cheaper for tech companies like Amazon to lease space in sprawling suburban warehouses built from scratch than to gut an existing building.
AT&T tried to sell a portfolio of facilities more than a year ago for about $2 billion but withdrew after there were no takers, according to a person familiar with the matter. Chief Executive Glen Post said in a conference call with analysts that the valuations of those types of assets were high, making it the right time to sell.
Verizon is finding yet another use for its former headquarters building in downtown New York City, an art deco landmark.
The downtown location, across from the rebuilt World Trade Center, is a prime area for office workers.


Vazquez’s department is taking different approaches to the 114 million square feet of office and equipment space it oversees. The market for co-location, where companies lease space close to network hubs, is expected to reach $36 billion next year, according to 451 Research.
But telecom companies are betting those companies will spend some of their cash to keep equipment in dense urban areas close to their users. The telecom company tried again last summer, according to another person close to the matter. The telephone and Internet provider wasn’t prepared to invest heavily in the business, he added. Two Verizon data centers, in Miami and Culpeper, Va., offer the kind of space and power that high-tech companies want and sit close to major network access points. With most of the building’s old copper phone switches out of the way, the carrier is renting out one floor to Grind LLC, an office-sharing company that caters to startups. Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers.


Older telephone buildings, which often occupy prime real estate in the Northeast, often go to condominium developers. Several industry executives said the data centers’ $575 million sale price coaxed other carriers to try to sell as well. Dyett said he passed on a building in Brooklyn because its fortress like-construction meant it had no windows.
In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois).
Newer data center buildings designed for computers, not telephones, are being shopped to prospective telecom and private equity investors.
Doug Adams, chief revenue officer of NTT’s RagingWire data center subsidiary, said its management has no intention to abandon that strategy.



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