Colliers International in Greater Phoenix has hired Michael Ortiz, its first mission critical and data center expert, to help capture the data center construction market which is expected to boom to $20 billion in the U.S. and $80 billion globally by 2020, according to a 2011 Data Center Knowledge article.
Construction for data centers, the fastest-growing real estate class in the world, is forecast to expand over the next four years as demand for facilities increases and regulations in the energy industry prompt upgrades. A key driver behind this growth has been the soaring influence of data in consumers’ lives. Humans have created more information in the last 10 years than in the entire history of collecting data. Usage of data is expected to continue rising as the average individual will carry approximately 6.6 devices by 2020 as compared to 3.5 devices today, according to the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.
Ortiz joins Colliers International as an associate vice president and a member of Colliers’ national Technology Solutions Group, a select group of brokers specializing in data centers. He collaborates with clients and fellow brokers across the entire Colliers platform to identify, create and deliver mission critical infrastructure and data center-specific solutions to end users, developers and investors.
Ortiz brings more than 15 years of commercial real estate experience and in-depth knowledge of mission critical infrastructure and data centers. His skills include quantitative credit underwriting, asset management, sales and operational expertise. Ortiz has managed data centers from a developer perspective, delivering solutions to early-stage entities up to Fortune 1000 clients.
Ortiz also has data center policy experience. He served as a senior member of the Arizona Data Center Coalition, which helped to pass S.B. 2009, signed by Gov. Brewer in 2013. The goal of the IT-specific tax reform legislation is to elevate Arizona’s positioning in the U.S. as a top tier data center market.
“The legislation levels the playing field relative to other states that offer IT-based tax programs to attract free-standing data center facilities and colocation tenants with 500 kw or greater in IT deployment,” Ortiz said.
Since data centers rely heavily on equipment, the primary expenses for a tenant are recurring server and equipment refresh costs, occurring approximately every 36-42 months, he said.
“With the new legislation and Arizona’s many manmade and natural attributes that make it an optimal destination for data centers, our state is poised to experience noteworthy growth in this sector,” said Bob Mulhern, managing director of Colliers International in Greater Phoenix. “Michael brings the caliber of expertise and leadership that makes him the right person to propel momentum and drive our clients to new successes.”
Arizona’s lack of earthquakes, abundant access to affordable and diverse forms of energy, and proximity to Fortune 500 headquarters in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas and Denver, make the state a desirable place to locate mission critical properties and data centers, Ortiz said.
“The Phoenix data center market continues to be very appealing to West Coast companies seeking relief from the higher power costs in California. Excellent tax incentives and lower utility costs have made Phoenix a very strong competitor against California and Texas data center sites,” said Tim Huffman, EVP national director of Colliers’ Technology Solutions Group. “The Colliers Technology Solutions Group offers a full suite of data center strategy and transaction services to companies around the world. Michael Ortiz’s experience working on the landlord side of the business brings a uniquely qualified perspective to our team and to our clients. We are very pleased to have him on board.”
As part of Colliers’ global platform that includes 16,000 professionals in 63 countries, Ortiz, who is fluent in Spanish, will serve clients throughout the U.S. and may also serve clients internationally. Latin America is poised to see significant IT-spending over the next several years.
Before joining Colliers, Ortiz served as the senior asset manager for the Western region at Digital Realty Trust, which led the Arizona Data Center Coalition initiative in partnership with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona Commerce Authority and data center developers such as CyrusOne, PhoenixNAP and IO Data Centers. At Digital Realty, Ortiz managed a two million-square-foot portfolio of technology-based assets delivering data center solutions to clients in the Southern California and Arizona markets.
At Scottsdale-based Global Mission Critical Services, Ortiz served as the senior director of the IT Advisory Services Group where he drove and diversified the sales program, strengthening channel relationships with IT, healthcare and aviation companies. In 2013, Ortiz also founded a real estate advisory firm, Hemisphere Capital Advisors, LLC. His firm provided advisory services in the areas of asset management, sales and operations for office, industrial and data center clients.
Additionally, Ortiz’s experience includes serving as a credit officer for the Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., and as a commercial lending analyst for JPMorgan Chase.
“I’m excited to join Colliers, a unique global company that treats each client’s real estate needs with a local service approach. Colliers is about people doing business with people they like and trust as experts in this information technology-based real estate sector,” Ortiz said. “We look to provide creative, simplified solutions for companies to make mission critical infrastructure and data centers a valuable piece of their real estate portfolio.”
Ortiz earned the Equity Office Properties’ 2005 Excellence Award and is a member of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. He earned an MBA from Indiana University and a bachelor’s of science degree from Purdue University.