Data center developer CoreSite is shifting from building mode to leasing as it brings new capacity online across its U.S. footprint.
Last week the data center REIT announced the opening of its new CH2 data center in Downtown Chicago, as well as the availability of the final phase of its SV8 facility in Santa Clara.
Over the past 18 months, CoreSite has launched construction projects across the country to add capacity to meet surging demand for colocation and interconnection services.
“We enter 2020 with our highest amount of available and near-term capacity that we’ve had in years, a growth in capacity of roughly 25 percent in our top five markets,” said Paul Szurek, the CEO of CoreSite. “Our timing was either good or lucky. We’ll take either one, but we’ve got adequate capacity to take on more demand, and that’s what we see.”
Adding Capacity Through the Pandemic
CoreSite has always been among the most disciplined of the public data center REITs, seeking to closely match its capital spending with market demand. The company specializes in projects in major urban centers, where construction timelines are complicated and deploying new space can require patience.
As a result, CoreSite has been managing simultaneous data center construction projects in Chicago, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Northern Virginia, and Northern New Jersey. Several of these projects were nearing completion as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S., and lockdowns slowed construction and permitting.
“In our major markets where we’re doing ground-up development, we have not yet seen any significant slowdown in permitting and inspections,” Szurek said in the company’s recent earnings call. “But everyone is going through an evolving situation so we just have to watch that as we go forward.”
A ‘New Choice’ in Downtown Chicago
Chicago is one of the nation’s premier markets for data center services, occupying a central place in America’s geography and mission-critical infrastructure. While many data center developers have expanded in the western suburbs of surrounding O’Hare Airport, CoreSite has focused on serving the market in Downtown Chicago, which is home to major trading exchanges for stocks, commodities and options, making the city a hotbed of activity for the financial services industry.
CoreSite CH1 is in the heart of the financial district, immediately next to the Chicago Stock Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. With CH2, CoreSite has designed and built a 169,000 square foot data center on a two-acre site about a mile from CH1, with the ability to support 18 megawatts of capacity. The CH2 data center is one of the first purpose-built, ground-up development in downtown Chicago, and CoreSite will bring 56,000 square feet and 6 megawatts of capacity online for the first phase.
“We designed CH2 to offer a new choice in downtown Chicago for high density, easy interconnection access, and sustainably focused operations, in a highly interconnected campus to appeal to those customers who require high performance and low latency at the edge,” said Brian Warren, CoreSite’s Senior Vice President of Development and Product Engineering. “We believe this new facility will meet our customers’ requirements, providing core retail colocation and scale solutions for high density applications with the extensive connectivity options of a multi-cloud and carrier ecosystem.”
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Still Growing in Silicon Valley
In Silicon Valley, CoreSite announced the completion of the third and final phase of SV8, its new greenfield build on its Santa Clara campus. The SV8 data center is a 162,000 square foot, 18-megawatt building and provides a strong ecosystem enabled to support enterprise digital transformation and its interconnection requirements.
The final phase of SV8 is comprised of 54,000 square feet and six megawatts. CoreSite has fully leased Phases 1 and 2, and has pre-leased 11 percent of Phase 3.
“Our SV8 data center delivers efficient data center design that enables enterprises to solve for mission critical, performance-sensitive hybrid cloud applications,” said Mike Durham, CoreSite’s Vice President and General Manager. “The addition of our SV8 data center increases access to our robust ecosystem to serve customers with one of the most interconnected data center campuses in the Silicon Valley area and provides one more option to fit varying customer needs.”
CoreSite also recently expanded its NJ2 facility in Secaucus, N.J. and opened its new VA3 campus in Reston, Va. last fall. The company is continuing construction on LA3, a 160,000 square foot expansion project in Los Angeles. The first phase is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2020, with 74 percent of the space pre-leased.