Valencia's city council has dropped plans to develop a data center in a docks building at the port.

The local government had been mulling over multiple proposals to develop a data center in a building on the Marina de València for more than a year.

valencia dock building google maps.png
– Google Maps

However, this week the Local Government Board (JGL) has approved the withdrawal of the award process for the Docks after learning reports from the State Advocacy and the Port Authority of Valencia "are unfavorable," as disclosed in a statement from the City hall.

Councilor José Marí Olano said that the previous municipal government had almost completed the bidding process, but he could not carry it out "without a minimum consensus with the Port Authority of Valencia."

The call for interest in developing the site has now been rescinded.

The existing two-story building on the proposed site was designed around 1917. It has reportedly been empty since 2016 after its previous nightclub tenant was closed down for failing to meet various council requirements. Proposals during the interim years have included a five-star hotel with a casino, and the location for the CaixaForum arts center.

Three companies were vying to develop a data center on the site.

Nethits has been planning to build a data center in the Docks building in the Marina de València since 2021; the company was aiming to build a 16MW facility with capacity for 1,000 racks. The existing building spans two stories, but would have been expanded to five stories and would have housed the company’s new headquarters. Servers and computer equipment would have occupied three floors.

However, in October 2022, Spanish data center firm Nixva put forward a competing proposal to develop a data center on the site but keep the existing facade. The company aimed to develop two buildings separated by a walkway; one 8MW data center with an area of ​​5,130 square meters (55,250 sq ft) spread over two floors and five data halls; and another office building spanning ​​3,463 sqm (37,250 sq ft).

Then, yet another company, wholesale telecoms firm Sineasen (aka Datium), put its own proposal forward to develop a data center on the site in March 2023.

However, despite the interest, Councilor Olano said the decision to drop the plans was "administrative prudence" as the Port did want to make decisions that could be questioned in court and put the Valencia City Council at legal risk.

The council said the building’s location and architectural importance were inappropriate for data centers, which instead could be placed in other industrial sites and buildings in the city.

The "unique, emblematic building" was in "a privileged environment" in the Marina, and said its "protected architecture" and the "abundant arrangement of holes in the façade" made it "inappropriate for a data center activity, which basically requires closed and isolated spaces, for which an industrial warehouse is much more appropriate."

Founded in 2002, Nixval currently operates one 1,500 sqm (16,150 sq ft) data center at Villa de Madrid 44 in Valencia. The building was built in 2000 and renovated in 2008; Occentus also has a presence at the site.

Founded in 2006, Valencia-based Nethits provides a number of network, telephony, IPTV, and WiFi solutions, with a number of services targeting the hotel industry.

Valencia-based Datium is a wholesale telecommunications operator providing fiber, mobile, fixed, or numbering services to small operators. The company, located in the Táctica business park in Paterna, is owned by the industrial engineer Francisco Barberà Balaguer, which acquired it in 2019.

A version of this story appeared on our Spanish edition.