Back in May 2015, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee acquired what the city said might be the first in a series of property acquisitions: a four-acre parcel adjacent to their existing campus that currently houses a Memphis Public Works facility. The announced intention of the purchase was to build a new data center on the site, located in an area that is currently home to additional public works facilities and warehouses.
With the purchase complete, the research hospital has announced plans to build a three-story, 60,000 sq ft data center on the property and to repurpose the existing public works facility building as a home for the hospital’s support operations. According to the application for permits to build it will be necessary, however, for the site to be granted two zoning exceptions.
The New Data Center
The first is for permission to build three stories tall — the size that St. Jude states in its application is necessary to house the data center facility. Currently, zoning only permits two-story builds. The second exemption is to allow a greater than normal building setback. This exemption is necessary for the hospital to make use of the existing facility, build the new data center, and still have space available for parking.
The new data center is likely to support both hospital operations and research. St. Jude’s is well known for its high tech approach to medical research and making that research available, as exemplified by their Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, which is dedicated to mapping the cancer genome and making the research results available online for analysis by researchers.