Data center provider CloudHQ has begun on a 1.5 million square foot hyperscale data center campus in the Chicago metro area of Mount Prospect, Illinois.
A total of 2.5 billion USD will be contributed to the development of the project over several years. CloudHQ will build a total of three buildings on the former site United Airlines headquarters at 1200 E. Algonquin Road and 1200 Dempster St. in Mount Prospect, according to reports.
United Airlines completed its headquarters relocation in 2012, according to the Village of Mount Prospect Planning and Zoning Commission. Later in 2013, the company built a 172,000-square-foot data center adjacent to the site, which is not part of the new development.
CloudHQ purchased the 49.7-acre site from United Airlines last year, according to documents filed with the Cook County Clerk’s Office. As per the terms of the development agreement, CloudHQ demolished the existing buildings to make way for the future data center.
Further, the plans call for three data center buildings, each with more than 560,000 square feet of space and 84 megawatts of capacity. Energy supplier ComEd– a unit Exelon Corp.— as part of the future project, said that a new electrical substation will be built, as well as high-voltage lines will be extended and additional investments in technology will be provided.
CloudHQ will seek LEED certification for the campus. The initial construction phase, which includes the first building, is due to be completed in 2024, with two additional buildings to be built, depending on market demand, over the next three to five years.
The initial construction phase will create more than 1,000 construction jobs over two years, with an additional 2,000 full-time jobs in subsequent phases, according to ComEd’s announcement. The Village of Mount Prospect’s recent quarterly economic report shows that 125 high-paying permanent jobs will need to be created after each building is completed. The same report estimated the project would generate $1 million to $2 million in tax revenue annually.
In 2019, Illinois enacted the Data Center Incentive Program, a legislative package aimed at supporting the growth of metro digital infrastructure. Since then, 15 new data center projects have been launched, with six attracting a total of $2 billion in investment in 2021, according to ComEd.
Chicago’s Elk Grove Village neighborhood, located about 5 miles south of the CloudHQ development, is home to several other large data centers operated by NTT Data, Digital Realty, Equinix, Cyxtera and Stream Data Centers, among others. Recent CBRE Nationwide demand for data center space has tripled this year compared to last year, report shows hyperscale developments remaining the largest users.
According to the same source, Chicago’s power reserves were 306 megawatts as of June of this year, making it the fourth largest primary data center market in the US. Metro construction was 91 megawatts, while the vacancy rate was 7.5 percent in the first half of the year.