HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Huge money is being invested in Eastern Henrico, where a major transformation is underway. The formerly empty Qimonda plant is being renovated to keep up with the world's 21st century technology needs.
Back in the Qimonda days, this site was guarded kind of like a military installation. But now that the transformation to a data center is underway, QTS is showing us the places that few have ever seen.
Few outsiders, that is, in a place that used to be bustling with 2,500 employees, and billions of dollars in equipment.
DAVID ROBEY: "Absolutely. Wall to wall."
ANDY: "What kind of stuff?"
DAVID: "This room was completely covered with all sorts of semi conductor manufacturing equipment."
David Robey is a former Qimonda manager, now the vice president of facilities for Quality Technology Services. QTS bought the 220 acre facility in 2010, the year after Qimonda went bankrupt.
"The remaining semiconductor utilities are being removed," Robey said, showing us a room that was being renovated.
One room at a time, QTS is turning what used to be a vast, empty chip fab plant into what's intended to be one of the largest data centers in the world.
ANDY: "What is a data center, what does a data center do?"
DAVID: "A data center is basically a high-tech warehouse, so to speak, for all your computing activity."
QTS currently has one, unspecified client, but the waiting list is getting longer as companies look to take advantage of what Qimonda left behind.
"A lot of available power, clean power, reliable power and cooling to maintain that environment," Robey said.
It's unlikely QTS will ever come close to hiring the 2,500 people Qimonda once employed. About 50 people work here today, a number that might grow to 200 within a few years.
"We're trying to keep the spirit that built this place intact and all those wonderful employees and the value that they had here in what they contributed, I don't want to see that die," Robey said.
QTS is investing $100 million dollars to renovate the former Qimonda plant. The company says the remodeling job is only about 5 percent complete and could take 2-5 years to finish depending on client demand.