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Webair to invest $20 million, add 26 jobs at cloud data center

The IT company says its investment is driven by tax credits and low-cost power awarded by New York State.

Webair Internet Development is

Webair Internet Development is "in this for the long run," says CEO Michael Christopher Orza. Photo Credit: Webair

Webair Internet Development Co. Inc., a Garden City-based provider of cloud computing, colocation and disaster recovery services, plans to invest $20 million over the next four years to expand its workforce and IT infrastructure, the company announced Tuesday.

Webair, which has facilities in Los Angeles, Montreal and Amsterdam, is headquartered in 25,000 square feet inside the former Doubleday building. The firm provides data services for clients including Southampton Hospital, the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Department of Health through its NY1 data center in Garden City.

The company said the new investment is driven by Webair’s “recent acceptance into the New York Empire State Development (ESD) program” and an allocation of low-cost hydropower from the state.

“We extended our lease by another 20 years,” said Michael Christopher Orza, Webair’s CEO. “We’re in this for the long run.”

In July, the company was offered up to $300,000 in tax credits over 10 years through the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program to create 26 new positions and invest $9 million in its planned expansion project, an ESD official said. The tax credits are performance-based, and require the firm to meet and maintain employment commitments.

“Empire State Development is proud to support the growth of Webair on Long Island and the creation of 26 new jobs in the growing tech-industry,” Howard Zemsky, CEO of Empire State Development, said in a statement. “New York is a hub for the 21st century economy and this project builds on the momentum we are seeing on Long Island and across the state.”

As part of the expansion, the company is adding 200 additional “data center cabinets” for server space, increasing the capacity of its HVAC system and fiber optic cable lines, and has already added an additional backup generator, said Sagi Brody, chief technology officer for Webair.

“We will assure [clients] their system will essentially never go down,” Brody said of his firm’s emergency protocols, adding that in addition to multiple generators, Webair has 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel on-site. “It’s enough fuel on-site to run for a week without utility power and before taking on any fuel deliveries,” he said.

The company also received its second allocation of low-cost electricity from the state Power Authority in July, bringing its total allotment of low-cost power to roughly 1000 kilowatts, which equals the electricity used by 800 to 1,000 homes. The company was awarded 266 kilowatts in 2014.

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