While absorption during the first quarter of the year was moderate by recent standards, take up available space substantially grew as the year progressed. Many markets continued to see strong pre-leasing and built-to-suit projects move forward, driven in no small part by the desire of hyperscalers to build out capability to handle both the computation and storage of artificial intelligence deployments across a host of verticals.
Meanwhile, development continued to be constrained by limited power availability and rising land costs. Beyond recent power challenges in the Northern Virginia market, various markets and utility providers across the country have similarly faced hurdles to satisfy the sizeable demands of large data center campuses. Major players have correspondingly adjusted their strategies, opting for larger site acreages and power purchase agreements far earlier in the development process. With larger upfront commitments, data center developers will have greater leeway to phase out campuses at their own pace without constrictions from either unavailable power or searches for additional sites.
Growth in both established and emerging markets continues, with secondary markets seeing more rapid growth due to more land availability and less competition for sites and power between different data center entities.
Key markets featured in this report include: