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CHICAGO-CoreSite has built out 20,000 square feet of raised-floor data center space with 2 MWs of power at 427 S. LaSalle. The national data center, colocation and peering provider, known as CRG West until late last month, has prepared the space in the 162,000-square-foot building, which is about 88% occupied. This is the second phase of space built out at the property, joining another 25,000 square feet CoreSite had previously renovated and leased up.

“Our plan is to do colocation, where you do one room with shared infrastructure and lease it to companies in really small increments,” David Dunn, CoreSite SVP, tells GlobeSt.com. “In a room of 20,000 square feet, we might have 50 different customers, so that’s our leasing plan in Chicago, though we are in talks to have one company take the majority of the space.” The SAS 70 Type II certified space offers 2N emergency generator back-up power, N+1 cooling, UPS configuration, branch-circuit monitoring technology, a return-air plenum, and security features including mantraps, biometric readers and 24-hour on-site security.

CoreSite acquired the building a little more than two years ago for about $34 million, and has since invested an additional $20 million in property improvements. Though much of the building was already data center space when the firm purchased it, CoreSite has now built out 45,000 square feet and plans to renovate as much as another 50,000 square feet in the future. Data center space is priced per kilowatt rather than by square foot as in normal real estate, but Dunn says asking lease rates at the building equate to about $20 per square foot in traditional terms.

“It’s one of the preeminent points of interconnection in Chicago, and we bought the building because we knew we had the opportunity to go in and build out first class data center space,” Dunn says. “It was a great opportunity to buy an asset that was 100% leased, and we knew that the space that was going to come up, we could turn into Class A office space relatively quickly.” In fact, the building is fully occupied aside from the 20,000 square feet just completed.

“Chicago is one of the preeminent data center markets, and downtown data center space is in very high demand,” Dunn says. “Chicago is a big market for financial services, and there’s a lot of those companies downtown, so it’s a very tight submarket.” Demand for data center space in Chicago will continue to grow in the future, Dunn says.

“Instead of people doing the trading, it’s all going to be via computers in the future and those transactions will occur in data centers,” he says. “The trading companies will want the matching engines to be as close to the financial exchanges as possible. Financial services is the main driver in Chicago, and our downtown location is directly across from the Board of Trade, and a lot of financial services firms desire to be there.

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