Chicago Data Center Capacity Constraints Spark Demand In This Midwestern Market

Chicago Data Center Capacity Constraints Spark Demand In This Midwestern Market

With the rising demand for data center expansion, many in the digital infrastructure sector are beginning to experience the effects of capacity constraints. As more facilities enter the market, the Chicago metropolitan area is one to watch. Chicago’s has long been praised for its cloud availability, fiber connectivity, development pipeline, land price, and market size. The Midwestern city is also viewed as one of the nation’s premier data center and colocation infrastructure markets.

Chicago remains an optimal location to build and operate data centers for its many advantages.  Providers can leverage the cold climate to save on cooling costs in the Windy city, channeling outside air to supplement cooling systems for more months of the year than in other locations. Chicago also offers a centralized location equally accessible from the East and West coast. Plus, Chicago rests at the apex point of a world-class fiber infrastructure while remaining a low-risk area for natural disasters.

The growing hyperscale demand for multi-tenant data center facilities was a driving force of new construction in Chicago. An updated report from Cushman & Wakefield reports that the city has experienced a string of consistent construction completions, which led to more capacity for hyperscalers to obtain in the second half of 2021. The outcome has been a record 65 megawatts absorbed across Chicago, tightening overall market vacancy. In 2021 the market had nearly 310 MW of inventory with a vacancy rate of 11.7% compared to now, which is seen at just 7%, returning to an all-time low.

According to Craine’s Chicago Business, the demand for data center space is strong enough that developers should be able to lease up projects with a lot of power capacity, says broker Jim Kerrigan, managing principal of Chicago-based North American Data Centers. Data center leases have become bigger in recent years, with more tech companies seeking 30 megawatts or more deals. In 2017, U.S. data center landlords completed six leases of 10 megawatts or more, and in 2021 they cut 11 leases of 30 megawatts or more.

Developers in Chicago are having difficulties finding suitable locations, with adequate land, for new projects. A significant constraint on development is the difficulty of obtaining construction materials, as resources have become especially hard and expensive to possess due to supply-chain setbacks. Data center developers are often seen competing with industrial developers for land sites, resulting in the migration of data center development into the suburbs and outside of the city.

Element Critical, a leading owner and operator of tailored colocation data center solutions, is keeping up with demand in the Chicago market and currently has available capacity in their Chicago One Data Center campus. Element Critical’s Chicago campus delivers best-in-class data center colocation coupled with true deployment flexibility from two companion facilities. Both Chicago One and Chicago Two facilities are designed to have fast-acting disaster recovery services while offering cutting-edge powerhouse systems and a 30+ year uptime track record.

The Chicago data center campus offers ultra-low latency connectivity and easy access to Chicago’s global reaching fiber networks from their Wood Dale location, located only 9 miles from O’Hare International Airport. With an accessible location, compliance, and a full suite of business services, the campus offers carrier-neutral meeting rooms, newly renovated conference rooms, and abundant office space and amenities to support disaster recovery resources. Both facilities meet regulatory standards for SOC 1: Type 1 and 2, SOC:2 Type 1 and 2, ISO:27001, PCI DSS, and HIPAA compliance while delivering optimal solutions for enterprise needs.

As vacancy in Chicago begins to dwindle, enterprises need to act fast. Element Critical is equipped to offer high-performance colocation services delivered with proven resiliency, space and power availability, and 100% uptime backed by a customer SLA.

To learn more about Element Critical’s Chicago Data Center campus availability, please visit:


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