601 West Polk is alive and kicking. The 100 year old structure just west of the Loop in Chicago has been through a lot over the years, including a previous owner passing through bankruptcy. After several millions of dollars worth of renovations. AlteredScale, a provider of mission critical data center solutions, announced this week that it has chosen Norland Managed Services to operate and maintain its data center at 601 West Polk.
601 West Polk is an historic, 100-year-old structure, which features 25,000 square feet of newly-built raised floor space, which AlteredScale says is the largest contiguous chunk of colocation space in downtown Chicago.
Real estate pickings downtown Chicago can be slim, and there’s a lot of history around this building. "Despite being one of North America’s most strategic data center markets, Chicago has suffered from a lack of capacity in the central business district," said Kevin Francis, President of AlteredScale. "With the completion of phase one at 601 West Polk we are excited to serve the colocation needs of enterprises throughout Chicago and the Midwest. AlteredScale provides IT capacity in a convenient downtown location."
601 Polk is situated on the primary fiber-optic ring serving downtown Chicago, and near multiple power substations. In addition to the 25,000 square feet of data center space on the first floor, 601 Polk also includes 28,000 square feet of expansion space available for data center and office use.
AlteredScale chose Norland Managed Services, Inc. to operate and maintain the critical facilities and Chicago-based Tiburon Security Inc., who custom built security protocols and staffs guard personnel for the site.
601 Polk’s Long History
Built more than 100 years ago, the 601 Polk building was at one point a warehouse for the retailer Marshall Fields and was later slated to be a "carrier hotel" for a telecommunications company. Purchased out of bankruptcy by Pi Data Holdings, LLC in 2011 for $10 million, the deal allowed the previous owner to pay off creditors and drop a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, according Chicago Real Estate Daily. Several million was spent on renovation, leaving about 25,000 square feet of first floor space for multi-tenant usage. Existing tenants of the building at the time included Comcast Corp., France Telecom and Kozy's Cyclery, a bike shop.
The 108,000-square-foot building was renovated extensively and turned from raw industrial space into modern, flexible data center space. It was a worthwhile endeavor, given the building’s location, access to power and connectivity.