published: August 15, 2006 12:15 am
ASHEVILLE — The Hub Project, the new economic plan to build on the region's strengths in technology and quality of life, scored one of its first successes Tuesday, landing a new Internet data center for Asheville.
Netriplex Corp. announced plans to move its international network operation center from Boston into a 10,000-square-foot space at Biltmore Park this fall. While top managers are relocating from New England, the company plans to hire locally, filling about a dozen information technology positions, Netriplex President Jonathan Hoppe said.
Asheville will be home to the company's seventh data center, joining others in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta and London. With about 80 workers worldwide, Netriplex offers Internet services for businesses, including Web hosting, e-mail management, spam filters and off-site data backup.
"We needed some place that wasn't on the top 25 cities for terrorist targets. We have some high profile companies and security has been a concern. Since Sept. 11, we've been looking for a location that was more secure. Asheville was perfect for that. Nebraska was No. 1 on our list, but who wants to live in Nebraska?" Hoppe said. "Asheville came to the top of the list. Quality of life is important."
Netriplex's arrival could improve the quality of living for some qualified Asheville residents. Starting salaries at Netriplex would typically range from $50,000 to $60,000 and could top $100,000 based on experience, Hoppe said. The company hopes to have about 25 workers in Asheville within two years.
"This type of company is targeted by our Hub Project. One of the goals was to create centers like Netriplex is announcing today," said Nathan Ramsey, chairman of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners during a news conference Tuesday at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Asheville leaders have been talking to Netriplex since March of last year, said Ray Denny, the chamber's vice president of economic development.
"We have targeted these kind of Internet data centers, these high tech firms that provide maybe fewer jobs than traditional manufacturing companies but their wages tend to be much higher," Denny said.
Hoppe pointed to the massive fiber-0ptic network of the Education and Research Consortium, which provides the lightning-fast bandwidth the company needs for its Internet services. Hoppe was also impressed by the qualified workers already living in Asheville. He met with a group of local "computer geeks" about a month ago.
"We have geeks here he could hire," said Trevor Lohrbeer, an Asheville Web and software designer and member of the Chamber's Information Technology Council. "That's important when you're talking about a data center."
Contact Dale Neal at 828-232-5970 or via e-mail at