Apr 29, 2021

Aligned breaks ground on 100 MW Chicago data centre campus

datacentres
hyperscale
construction
colocation
Harry Menear
3 min
Courtesy of Aligned
The campus’ first data centre, ORD-1, will provide Aligned’s Chicago campus with an initial capacity of 48MW when it comes online...

US-based digital infrastructure company Aligned has broken ground on its fifth data centre campus. The company already operates data centre sites in Salt Lake City, Utah; Dallas, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and the US’ data centre capital of Ashburn, Virginia. 

Now, Aligned is expanding aggressively into the Midwest with its new campus located in Chicago, Illinois. Aligned CEO, Andrew Schaap, noted in a statement to the press that, “Whether by rail, road, air, or network packet, Chicago has long served as a major infrastructure hub for the nation’s commerce and now, a rapidly transforming digital economy.” 

Chicago has a well-established history with the data centre industry, although construction has shifted away from America’s “second city” in the past decade. Back in 2010, Chicago even held claim to being the home of the US’ largest data centre with the 350 E. Cermak building belonging to Digital Realty - a 1.1mn square foot data centre housed in the building where they used to print the Yellow Book and Sears Catalog

While the E. Cermak carrier hotel has long since lost its title to sprawling hyperscale campuses - with the title of America’s largest data centre site passing to Switch’s mega-scale campus in Reno, Nevada - the announcement from Aligned reconfirms the fact that Chicago still has a role to play in the nation’s digital infrastructure. 

Welcome to ORD-1

Located at 505 Northwest Avenue in Northlake, IL, Aligned’s Chicago campus is a sprawling 18.5-acre property. The company broke ground on the site’s first data centre, ORD-1 this Wednesday. 

ORD-1 is a 220,000 square foot facility that, when it spins up (sometime - Aligned haven’t released any details on when the site will become operational) will deliver 48 MW of hyperscale, carrier-neutral capacity, with the potential to scale ORD-1 up to more than 60 MW. 

Aligned hasn’t made any announcements about other facilities planned for the campus, but its press office has revealed that the Chicago campus has the potential to scale to more than 100 MW of capacity over the next few years if there is strong enough demand from the market. 

Schaap, for one, believes that the demand is definitely there. “I’m bullish about the future,” he said in a recent interview

He added: “The city’s central location, attractive data center sales tax incentives, long-haul connectivity and access to ample renewable energy options make it an ideal site for hyperscalers, cloud companies, and multinational enterprises to deploy their mission-critical infrastructure.”

The Mayor of Northlake, Chicago, Jeffrey Sherwin, also hailed the new campus with open arms, saying that, “The City of Northlake welcomes Aligned. Northlake is well positioned in the Chicago market being centrally located and having great infrastructure to support the new facility.”

As a result of the attractive data centre tax incentives that Schaap mentioned above, Sherwin added that, “This will be Northlake’s third data center development. We work closely with developers to make their projects a reality. Their success is our success.”    

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Jun 24, 2021

GTR and SEGRO agree first UK data centre facility

SEGRO
GTR
datacentres
CloudServices
2 min
SEGRO has reached an agreement with the European data centre platform, Global Technical Realty (GTR), to develop its first UK-based facility

SEGRO, a property investment and development company, has announced it has come to an agreement with the European data centre platform, Global Technical Realty (GTR) to construct its first UK-based data centre. SEGRO claims that the facility, which will span a total area of 400,711 sq ft, will be located in Slough and is to become “the largest data centre campus in the UK’s premier data centre and communications hub”.

What will SEGRO’s data centre facility be used for?

Supported by the global investment firm KKR, Global Technical Realty says it will be using the facility’s space on a 25-year term to operate bespoke data centres for high-growth global technology companies.  The new facility aims to support the growing demand for third-party data centre provision amid ever-increasing growth in data usage and cloud services adoption.

Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO & Founder of GTR, said: “We are excited to be back in the UK alongside our partner KKR and look forward to working closely with SEGRO to deliver this state-of-the-art data centre campus. The data centre space is a fast-moving one. GTR was established to support its customers in providing a data centre solution wherever in the world there is a demand for it. We are delighted that the UK will become home to our flagship concept”. 

James Craddock, Managing Director, Thames Valley at SEGRO, said: “We’re pleased to welcome GTR as the latest data centre operator to our thriving estate and our team of experts look forward to developing a stunning new facility for them and their customers. “Homeworking, data streaming, e-commerce and businesses’ reliance on cloud services have all grown during the pandemic, meaning demand for data centres is unabated. 

“Slough Trading Estate is home to Europe’s largest data centre cluster and data centres are increasingly regarded as part of our key national infrastructure given the critical role they play in our daily lives”, he added. 

The facility is expected to be delivered in two phases with operations beginning by Q4 of next year. The first phase plans to provide 132,575 sq ft of space phase two will create 268,136 sq ft of space. “Vacant possession of the site delivered to the customer by early 2022”, SEGRO said. 

The project is also expected to create around 200 jobs during its construction, and a further 80 permanent roles once completed. 

Image: SEGRO

 

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