Ascent Signs Anchor for Chicago Project

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A rendering of the Ascent Corp. CH2 data center, showing different types of power and cooling infrastructure in series of dedicated customer equipment yards ringing the exterior of the facility.

Data center developer Ascent Corporation has signed a Fortune 100 multimedia company as the anchor tenant of its Chicago CH2 Data Center in Northlake, Illinois, the company said today. Ascent will provide the tenant with a custom suite offering up to 4 megawatts of critical power.

CH2 is a 250,000 square foot  data center facility being built adjacent to Ascent’s first Northlake property, an enormous Microsoft Corp. data center. Ascent said  CH2 Data Center will be a multi-tenant data center facility offering build-to-suit “Dynamic Data Center Suites”with dedicated access and infrastructure that can be customized for customer requirements. The project was announced in 2009 and lined up substantial funding and closed on the property earlier this year.

Lease Shows Strength in Chicago Market
“Our ability to quickly sign the anchor tenant for CH2 is a real validation of our product and the continued strength of the greater Chicago market,” said Phil Horstmann, the CEO of Ascent Corporation. “The autonomous suite model has proved to be very popular with customers that want a customized, build-to-suit data center space that takes advantage of hyper-entitled data center attributes. By letting our tenants control their Suites’ design parameters, we can provide them with a flexible, cost-effective custom data center solution that maximizes energy efficiency with no capital outlay through a turnkey lease.”

Construction for the initial tenant is expected to be complete by spring 2011, and Ascent said it expects to invest approximately $75 million to develop the suite for the new tenant. The company will continue to develop the site and is actively recruiting additional tenant prospects.

The Ascent project is the most recent entry in the Chicago data center market, which actually consists of two sub-markets – an active market in downtown Chicago consisting primarily of small footprints and highly-connected space coveted by trading operations, and a group of large data center facilities in the city’s western suburbs that offer larger footprints suitable for hosting and Internet companies.

Headquartered in Saint Louis, Ascent specializes in advanced mission critical facilities and offers clients a broad range of delivery models spanning shell & core, build-to-suit, turnkey, and outsourced critical systems operations. Ascent’s clients include Fortune 500 firms, and service providers.

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.

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