Metro Edge Development Partners, a commercial real estate investment firm and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), has signed a 75-year ground lease on a 1.97-acre parcel of land in the Illinois Medical District (IMD) with the exclusive right to develop and run a high-performance data center.
The planning and permitting process for a 21 Megawatt (MW), five-story, 191,000 square foot data center by Metro Edge has started. The IMD, which has the state’s highest concentration of medical facilities, biotech hubs, and tech incubators, is where the greenfield data center will be situated two miles west of the Loop in Chicago.
With over 80,000 daily visitors, including 29,000 employees, the IMD is the second-largest medical area in the country.
According to Craig Huffman, CEO of Metro Edge, when Metro Edge was established, the goal was to construct data centers in neglected metropolitan areas. Traditional institutional owners frequently overlook these infill spaces, but they present a special opportunity to encourage positive change in a neighborhood via careful, integrated development.
The West Side of Chicago’s low-income and medically underserved areas could benefit from a healthcare-anchored data center in the IMD, which would also help many of the IMD’s anchor healthcare institutions improve their outdated data center infrastructure. The Metro Edge site is close to the utilities, fiber, and electricity needed for a top-notch data center, and it has strong access and low latency..
“The Illinois Medical District offers a unique ecosystem of knowledge, collaboration and resources, plus the opportunity to positively impact the surrounding communities on the West and South Side of the city. Together with Metro Edge, we will reshape the technology profile of the district and offer the local community access to connectivity and career opportunities that will make us competitive with other areas of Chicago.” said Allyson Hansen, CEO and Executive Director at the IMD.
Numerous pre-leasing requests are now being handled by Metro Edge from businesses that view the new data center as a chance to be close to organizations that are involved in healthcare, technology, education, and life science inside the IMD and downtown Chicago.