23 Mar Berbee to expand at New Venture Center
Fitchburg, Wis. – The Fitchburg Plan Commission has recommended approval of zoning, site, and architectural plans for a new office building and data center that would accommodate the expansion of Berbee Information Networks.
Berbee would serve as the anchor tenant in both buildings, which are planned for the New Venture Center, part of the Fitchburg Technology Campus.
The plans, which now go to the Fitchburg Common Council, include a 43,250-square-foot office building that will be developed and owned by Avante Properties, a Madison-based commercial and residential property management company, and a 51,500-square-foot data center that will be developed by Team Technologies of Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Berbee, a Madison-based technology services company, will lease about 50 percent of the office building, according to Brett Rimkus, vice president of co-worker services, finance, and administration.
Last year, Berbee was acquired by the Vernon Hills, Illinois-based CDW Corp., a Fortune 500 company that would like to help Berbee grow into a $1 billion company. But Rimkus said Berbee’s expansion is related more to its organic growth.
“This is unrelated to our growth plan with CDW,” Rimkus said. “We were looking at this prior to our acquisition by CDW.”
Berbee already has two data centers – one in Madison and one in Minneapolis. The company reports more than $300 million in annual revenue and employs more than 700 people in 11 Midwestern cities, including 253 in Madison, 56 each in Waukesha and Appleton, 71 in Minneapolis, and 62 in Chicago.
Its Greater Madison office and data center are located at 5520 Research Park Drive, Fitchburg.
If approved, Avante Properties and Team Technologies would have an entire construction season to build the facilities and could have them completed by year’s end.
Avante Properties serves as the property manager and broker for the Fitchburg Technology Campus. Avante’s Chris Armstrong, a project manager for the campus, said Berbee would occupy 50 percent, if not more, of the data center.
This will be the third office building at the New Venture Center, and a fourth is planned for next year. The presence of the data center will bring updated fiber optic service “to the front door of all the office buildings,” Armstrong said.
The office building will serve high-tech use, and Armstrong said there is enough flexibility in the design to accommodate the needs of biotechnology companies.
“We haven’t begun to market the space yet,” he added.
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