Huge Spec Data Center Planned in Chicago

Property management company Koman Group and IT facilities specialist Ascent Corp. are teaming on a joint venture to build a 441,000 square foot data center in North Lake, Illinois (Chicago market). The $175 million project at 601 Northwest Ave. is being built on a speculative basis for one to eight tenants, according to Globe Street, a real estate trade publication.

Construction is expected to commence this summer and be completed in early 2008. The facility is being planned for 40 megawatts of power, with the capability to expand to 60 megawatts, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, which is the leasing agent for the project. The developers say they will have a dedicated substation on the 12-acre property, with power available at 5 cents per kilowatt hour. The facility will be two stories, with 21-foot ceilings.

In announcing the enormous project, the developers cite “a lack of quality data centers in the market today.” While that reflects the consensus view in the industry, comments in the Globe Street article will probably raise an eyebrow or two.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Tim Spillane told Globe Street that when the project is complete “there will be about six data centers in the Chicagoland area and there are about 13 ‘viable’ data centers on a national basis.”

In fact, there have been a series of data center announcements in the Chicago market in 2006-07. These include a new $165 million Equinix facility, a new facility for Digital Realty Trust, a build-to-suit project by CenterPoint Properties
and a conversion of an exixting SBC site for a major Hostway data center.

Ascent was founded in 1998 has managed more than $950 million in large-scale projects and 3 million square feet of mission critical facilities in North America and Great Britain.

The Koman Group has developed over $900 million in new projects in the St. Louis and the surrounding area over the past 15 years.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.


  1. Rich, Regarding announcements in Chicago, you failed to include a mention ( of Stargate's 86,000 sq ft Tier 3+ data center in Chicago Suburb of Oak Brook. -Tom

  2. Hi Tom, Thanks for the reminder. AT&T also just opened a new facility in Oak Brook as well. There have also been data center expansions in Chicago by IDC Global Networks, Internap and Gigenet. Some of these have been expansions within existing buildings (thus illustrating the demand site of the equation), but it all adds up to robust activity in the Chicago market.