Ascent Lines up $107 Million for Chicago Project

The Ascent CH2 data center in suburban Chicago. (Credit: Tara Wujcik).

Data center developer Ascent Corporation has closed on $107 million in debt financing to fund the expansion of its CH2 project in Chicago and to enter new markets. The debt financing is being provided by a lending group headed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch with participant banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Cole Taylor Bank.

CH2 is a 250,000 square foot multi-tenant data center facility in Northlake, Ill.offering build-to-suit “Dynamic Data Center Suites” with access and infrastructure that can be customized for customer requirements. Current tenants include Comcast Corp. and a national retail chain.

“We are excited to have secured this debt financing for the funding of our Ascent CH2 Data Center development in suburban Chicago, as well as new markets,” said Phil Horstmann, CEO of Ascent Corporation. “Our approach to purpose-built, multi-tenant data center developments and our data center operational experience attracted the lending community to us. The success of our business model will allow us to attract future debt and equity capital to help fund the accelerated growth of our business into new markets.”

The Ascent CH2 data center offers up to 54 megawatts of power for additional dedicated Dynamic Data Center Suites. Ascent announced private equity funding to advance the Ascent CH2 Data Center development in mid-2010. The debt financing will help Ascent build out  suites for additional tenants.

“Ascent’s superior data center product and proven track record as a data center developer, coupled with the credit quality of Ascents tenants, makes this a very strategic relationship for our bank group,” said Vincent Luongo, Senior Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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.

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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.

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