Australian real estate development firm Hickory has broken ground on its first data center in Melbourne.

In June the company announced plans to launch a data center unit and build a 36MW facility on a site in Truganina in west Melbourne. The facility, to be located on a 3.5-hectare site, was to have 25,000 sqm (269,000 sq ft) of floor space across 12 data halls.

Tech Capital reports that plans have expanded; the company now aims to develop a 72MW hyperscale facility made up of two 36MW buildings. The Truganina site was acquired in early 2021 and Hickory aims to bring the facility online in Q4 2022.

Joel O’Halloran, CEO of Hickory Data Centres told TC: “We are thrilled to be breaking ground on our Truganina site in Melbourne as the strategic expansion of Hickory Data Centres comes to fruition."

“These locations will bring substantial capacity to the growing Australian market, with Melbourne one of the hottest markets in the world right now for data center investment.”

At the time of the original announcement, company director Michael Argyrou of Hickory Data Centres told the Australian Financial Review the first project is a self-funded spec build with no tenant in place but was confident of filling the space quickly.

Hickory has also reportedly acquired a 24,000 sqm (258,300 sq ft) site in Canberra and plans to build a 28MW hyperscale data center there.

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