BBIF NMTC Spotlight: HostDime

Hostdime is a 100% minority-owned global data center provider. Manny Vivar, founder, CEO, and President of Global Operations, founded the international company in the historic town of Eatonville, Florida. Eatonville, located in the greater Orlando area, is most known due to it being the first town in the United States to be incorporated by African Americans. Over the years, HostDime has grown from operating one server to having over 200 in operation today. 

Hostdime will be constructing its $35 million headquarters on the Hungerford Property, a plot of land which has been undeveloped for almost 50 years. This location is impactful because it will serve as the only Tier IV public data center in Central Florida, allowing the company to be a significant interconnection axis for public cloud and fiber networks in the Southeastern United States and South America. Additionally, this new project will attract more investments and developments into the Eatonville community. 

Financing for this project was made possible through investments from the federal New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) from BBIF and another community development lender, Mid-City CDE, as well as Fifth Third Bank and HostDime. 

“The Hostdime project is an important initiative for our Organization, for Hostdime, and the community of Eatonville, the oldest historically Black town in America,” said Duane Lewis, BBIF COO. “This project will not only provide free WIFI to the entire town but is also providing free STEM education in partnership with the local schools.”

“Our investment into Hostdime,” Lewis explains, “is helping to bring about one of the largest-ever investments into this historically underserved community, as well as financing a Global IT Minority led organization to create its headquarters at home in Eatonville.”

BBIF supports NMTC projects located in economically distressed, high-minority population areas on the basis of job creation, job quality, job accessibility, the impact the project will have on the local community, and its alignment with the community’s development priorities. In addition, these projects must demonstrate that they will improve the quality of life for current residents.

As quoted on HostDime’s Website:   “We are very excited and proud to bring such an impactful development to the Historic Town of Eatonville,” said Manny Vivar, HostDime President, and CEO. “The Town has been an instrumental partner in our efforts, and we kept the local community impact in mind as we designed this facility. Equally, we have a strong initiative to help and inspire our youth while creating more jobs. We are very proud that all our financial partners (Fifth Third Bank, BBIF, Mid-City CDE) saw our vision, and we are grateful for everyone who made this a reality. Thank you!”

The breakdown of how HostDime will use the 95,00 square foot building is as follows: a three-floor wing dedicated to data operations, seven client-focused floors, a STEM lab and internet museum housed on the first floor, and the top floor will double as a training center and conference space. Before the grand opening of the new facility, HostDime will host a job fair to recruit talent from the nearby community. It is expected that this project will create 102 full-time jobs, with some of the positions being attainable to individuals who may only have a high school diploma. HostDime will also provide the entire town of Eatonville with free 4G Wi-Fi. Construction will be complete by the summer of 2022.

Since 2014, BBIF has financed 20 projects and loan pools with its NMTC Allocations creating an economic impact of $140.1 million. These projects have been able to aid in creating and retaining 2,705 jobs in Florida’s underserved communities.