We continue our series of stories on the leading geographic markets for data center space with a report on the Greater Chicago data center market. Data Center Frontier is partnering with DatacenterHawk to provide in-depth market reports on each city we profile. This post gives a full rundown of highlights of development activity in the Greater Chicago market for 2019.
Chicago continues to be one of the most active markets for new development, with more than 200 MWs of capacity either under construction or in the planning phases. Here’s a look at some of the projects that are bringing new capacity and new providers into the Greater Chicago data center market.
CoreSite Building Downtown
In Downtown Chicago, CoreSite recently kicked off development on its new CH2 data center. CoreSite plans to deliver 18 megawatts (MWs) of commissioned power at the facility, which will be split between three 6 MW phases. The company purchased the two-acre site in early 2018 and will develop a four-story data center. The new four-story facility will be connected to the company’s current Chicago data center location, which is less than a mile away. Notably, the CoreSite project is the first “greenfield” data center —purpose-built from the ground up—in Downtown Chicago in recent memory.
RagingWire/NTT Building Campus in Itasca
In Suburban Chicago, RagingWire has begun construction on a campus in Itasca, where it plans to deploy two purpose-built 36 MW data centers for a total of 72 MWs of capacity. The first phase of the project will offer a 6 MW data hall and come online in 2020.
As it continues to add capacity in major markets, Iron Mountain has acquired a 13-acre parcel in Des Plaines and plans to build 330,000 SF of data center capacity, deployed in multiple phases.
There have also been smaller deals bringing new players into the Chicago market. In September 2019, New York-based colocation specialist NYI acquired a Navisite facility from Oak Brook. In January 2019, colocation provider Element Critical acquired two former Sungard Availability data centers in Wood Dale to enter the Suburban Chicago market.
Meanwhile, Lincoln Rackhouse recently purchased ByteGrid, a data center provider with locations in Chicago, Seattle, and Silver Springs, MD. Its Chicago data center is located in Aurora and currently has 2.4 MW of commissioned power, with another 1.5 MW planned for future expansion. The ByteGrid facility is Lincoln Rackhouse’s first location in Chicago, and has been leased to Agile Data Sites, which will handle the data center operations.
STACK Infrastructure, Equinix in Building Mode
STACK Infrastructure recently announced plans to build a second data center in Elk Grove Village. STACK will build the new data center adjacent to its existing facility, which STACK acquired from T5 Data Centers. The company intends to build a multi-story data center that will deliver 20 MW of commissioned power when completed.
Equinix’s largest data center in Chicago continues to grow after the company’s recent delivery of the fifth expansion phase. Phase V in the Equinix CH3 facility included 2 MW commissioned power and 13,500 SF of space. CH3 is located in Elk Grove Village in close proximity to other large data centers operated by Digital Realty, Stream, Stack Infrastructure, EdgeConneX, and Element Critical. Equinix’s highly connected approach makes CH3 a valuable asset as surrounding data centers link to the facility to leverage its connectivity to the rest of Chicago and the US.
Chicago as an Edge Computing Market
Chicago is also shaping up as an early market for edge computing, which seeks to process data and services as close to the end user as possible.
Edge data center specialist Vapor IO has chosen Chicago as the site for its first two sites. Vapor IO is creating a distributed network of edge colocation sites, housed in micro modular data centers that can be deployed at key points on the network, including telecom towers and antenna sites. Tower operator Crown Castle is an investor and partner for Vapor IO, while bare metal cloud specialist Packet is a lead tenant.
In September, cell tower specialist SBA Communications purchased the New Continuum data center business, including an 80,000 SF data center in West Chicago and a fiber loop. SBA owns 16,000 cell tower locations around the U.S., and indicated that the New Continuum facility would serve as an R&D facility to assess opportunities in edge computing. The deal is similar in concept to American Towers’ acquisition of ColotATL earlier this year.
See the full report on the Chicago data center market to see a comprehensive supply overview of data center providers in the Chicago market.
The next entry in this series on the Chicago colocation market will highlight the market’s business environment, including factors like power, hazard risk, incentives, connectivity and more.
Catch up on the series so far below:
- Chicago Colocation Market Sees Renewed Interest Amid New Economic Incentives, Projects
- Downtown Chicago Market Driven by Connectivity, Inter-connection & Access to Central Business District
For full details on the Chicago data center market, we invite you to download the “Greater Chicago 2019 Data Center Market Overview,” sponsored by RagingWire Data Centers.