Allstate Insurance Co. has announced plans to build a 50,000 square foot data center facility in Rochelle, Ill., a western suburb of Chicago. The company, which recently bought 25 acres of land in the Rochelle Technology Park, is reported to be spending $50 million in the facility. The insurer will be the first tenant in the 160-acre business park, and receive $278,000 in tax incentives and job training funds from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
"This new data center facility will provide Allstate with additional hosting capacity for its business applications," said Catherine Brune, Allstate's Chief Information Officer. "We expect to make an additional multi-million dollar investment for computer related equipment in the facility over the next several years."
The company spent three years scouting locations in the Midwest before choosing Rochelle, according to CB Richard Ellis Vice-President Chad Freese. "We were all over the region, including Wisconsin and Indiana, and there were 29 locations we were originally looking at," Freese told local media. "During the last 18 months we narrowed the selection down to three finalists and it became clear Rochelle had the most going for it in the Midwest. These city leaders in Rochelle are the most forward thinking and enterprising individuals when it comes to competing for projects like this. They have really positioned Rochelle well for the future."
During the lengthy site location process, city officials in Rochelle had given the effort the code name "Project Andrea." The city worked closely with Rochelle Municipal Utilities (RMU) and the Northern Illinois Technology Triangle Project (NITT) on providing connectivity to the business park. The Illinois Department of Transportation is currently completing the final fiber installation along the I-39 corridor from Rochelle to Rockford.
Allstate Director of Infrastructure Services Brandi Landreth said construction could begin this year. "We are still nailing down some issues with the design, but our hopes are to be in the building by some time in 2009," Landreth told the city council. The Rochelle facility will supplement an existing Allstate data center in Ohio.
"The decision by Allstate to locate their corporate data center in Rochelle is a defining moment for our community," said City Manager Ken Alberts. "This major investment in our new Business and Technology Park will add a tremendous amount of momentum in our continued efforts to attract high-tech jobs and technology-based companies to our community."