Property developer Hickory moves into data centre industry

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Property developer Hickory moves into data centre industry
Joel O'Halloran (Hickory Data Centres) and Michael Argyrou (Hickory)

Aussie property development company Hickory is venturing into the data centre industry with the launch of a new business unit. Hickory Data Centres.

The company said it is planning to build, own and operate hyper-scale data centres, with its first site already secured in Melbourne that will see a total investment of $500 million.

Joel O’Halloran has been appointed as chief executive to oversee the new unit. Coming from a role as IBM ANZ global technology services head of sales, he also spent 15 years in various executive roles.

Michael Gunton has been named as the chief operating officer, working most recently for Canberra Data Centres.

Chief customer officer is James Veness, who previously oversaw data centre operations for Macquarie Telecom and then Fujitsu, and spent time leading NextGen’s wholesale and channel business.

Hickory said it will be focusing on building and operating sovereign data centres on behalf of major Australian and global clients.

It will leverage its Building Systems technology, which involves building certain components off-site before installing them at the desired location.

“Our leadership team is building a sustainable and innovative business which will deliver a unique value proposition to hyper-scale clients: best in class data centre facilities that are built safely, at speed and scale,” said O’Halloran.

To reduce environmental impact, the facilities will use smart cooling tech and will actively source and provide renewable energy sources to ultimately achieve carbon-neutral facilities.

“Since the very conception of our company, Hickory has always strived to be at the forefront of innovation in the sector,” said Hickory director Michael Argyrou. 

“From our world-class HBS building technology to the recent launch of FLEX Co-working spaces, we are always on the lookout to expand into new and emerging markets. Entering the data centre sector was the natural next step for Hickory.”

“Data centres are a critical part of our rapidly expanding digital economy. As Australia’s consumption and dependence on cloud continue to increase, we are proud to be supporting the digital infrastructure that will enable Australian businesses to prosper.”

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