At least two towns in Connecticut are looking to prevent data centers from being built by a new company.
Gotspace Data Partners LLC, a Groton, Connecticut company, is looking to build five data centers across the state. The company is aiming to develop facilities in Wallingford, Bozrah, Groton, Norwich, and Griswold.
However, the Record Journal reports that Wallingford Town Council had been looking into its options around potentially rescinding its host agreement with Gotspace after a neighboring town rejected the company’s request to allow data centers there.
While some officials & locals are against bringing data centers to their area, it seems the towns are mainly concerned with the company’s own stability and commitment to the projects.
In October, the town of Bozrah, Connecticut, voted to reject a proposal by the company to establish a new zoning category that would allow it to develop a data center there. The owners and representatives of GotSpace were absent during the planning & zoning commission meeting to discuss the request, telling Bozrah officials the company was undergoing a change in leadership at the time.
Wallingford Town Attorney Gerald Farrell said that “Gotspace has some internal issues going on within itself.”
Wallingford officials approved a data center host agreement with Gotspace in June; the company is aiming to develop a total of five data center buildings totaling almost 1 million sq ft and 200MW in the town. The company has also secured host agreements with Groton, Griswold, and Bozrah.
Town Corporation Counsel Janis M. Small has told town officials there is “no legal basis for ‘rescinding’ the agreement,” which is “a legally binding agreement.”
The town cannot terminate the agreement unless Gotspace fails to apply for a building permit for the project within 36 months after execution of the agreement.
However, before construction can begin, Gotspace must first enter into an agreement with the state Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner, a power supply agreement with Wallingford Electric Division, and appeal to the town's Planning and Zoning Commission to change the local zoning regulations to allow data centers.
During the most recent meeting on the topic, the council discussed using a council veto of the power supply agreement to stop the project. It also noted that if the P&Z Commission refused to change zoning regulations, that could also derail the project.
“If the council were to vote that down, that would kill the whole thing,” said Councilor Chris Shortell.
According to filings, GotSpace was founded in January of 2021 in Boston. Real estate developers Thomas Quinn and Nicholas Fiorillo are listed as partners of the company. The firm is yet to deliver any data centers.
Quinn was formerly president and CEO of Verde Group, LLC — another firm that attempted to build large data centers in Connecticut. The company secured site plan approval in Montville in 2019 but never broke ground.
“We have a good opportunity here in Connecticut to bring forward what would be considered a new corridor for data in the region,” Quinn said during a Wallingford town meeting in May.
Earlier this year Connecticut state governor Ned Lamont signed a new data center tax exemption bill which provides sales and use tax as well as property exemptions on qualifying data centers, as well as an exemption for financial transactions taxes that the state may impose in the future, for periods of 20 or 30 years terms, depending on the size and location of the data center investment.