There’s no sign identifying the name of a new facility in South Akron.
The lack of a sign is just one security element at the Involta LLC building that will store data for a variety of companies and institutions and brings relatively high-paying tech jobs to a depressed area south of downtown.
An iris-reading machine — which will look workers in the eye before they can gain access — also is planned.
“Our customers come to us for security and reliability,” Involta Chief Executive Bruce Lehrman said Tuesday. “They don’t necessarily want people to know where their data is stored from a risk standpoint.”
Lehrman and other Involta leaders, along with local and state elected officials and Greater Akron Chamber representatives, celebrated the grand opening of the $17 million facility off Miller Avenue, east of Main Street.
The low-rise concrete facility was built on the site of Brown-Graves Lumber Co.
The building’s sturdy construction is designed to withstand high winds and other disasters. The name Involta is derived from the Italian word for “vault.”
The site includes its own power substation and backup diesel generators.
The center joins four other data-storage facilities developed by Involta, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Two more centers are planned.
Lehrman said the facility initially will employ about 10 — at $60,000 to $70,000 a year — and could have 50 to 60 in the next five years.
How fast employment grows in Akron depends on the company’s ability to market its data-storage service to businesses, schools and other organizations, he said.
Representatives of two local customers — Summa Health System, owner of Akron City, Barberton and St. Thomas hospitals — and Segmint Inc. of Akron, a software company, were on hand for the grand opening.
Various speakers praised county, city and chamber officials for working together to bring the facility to Akron.
Summit County and Akron had owned the Brown-Graves site, waiting for development.
The county sold 5.4 acres for $167,000 to Involta. The city sold 12.5 acres for $312,500.
Involta also secured a tax credit and $1.5 million loan from the state.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.