In a sign of growing confidence in the data center real estate market, Digital Realty Trust reported this week that it leased a record 1.2 million square feet of space in 2010. That beat the company’s previous record of 1.1 million square feet, set in 2008, and represented a 160% gain over 2009.

San Francisco-based Digital Realty Trust, which specializes in leasing data center space, said it saw a particular strengthening of the market in the final quarter of the year, when it leased 478,000 square feet of space.

“Our fourth quarter lease signings reflect strong demand for both our Turn-Key Datacenter and Powered Base Building products across multiple industry verticals in the U.S. as well as Europe,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Foust said in a statement. “We saw momentum in our sales activity continue to increase over the course of 2010, resulting in our strongest annual leasing performance to date in terms of square footage and total contract value of $1.2 billion.”

Foust added that rental rates varied from market to market but the company had seen the strongest pricing for turn-key data center space in Santa Clara, Calif., and the New York metropolitan market.

Of the 1.2 million square feet the company leased in 2010, 519,000 square feet was for turn-key data center space. Digital Realty said it averaged about $172 per square feet for that space. It also leased 379,000 square feet of Powered Base Building space – shell buildings for companies that want to build out and operate their own data centers using their own personnel – at an average rate of $45 per square foot.




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