Metro Edge Development Partners to Build 20 MW+ Data Center in Chicago

Metro Edge Development Partners (Metro Edge), a local real estate expert, is preparing to start the construction of IMD1, a five-story data center located within the Illinois Medical District in Chicago. The CEO of Metro Edge, Craig Huffman, shares insights into the project.

IMD1 will be a newly constructed vertical data center with a capacity of over 20 MW. Huffman explains that the idea for the data center emerged when he realized that a traditional data center in the medical district could be an interesting opportunity. The Illinois Medical District supported the project after evaluating its feasibility and it aligning with their preferences.

Huffman highlights that IMD1’s design is vertically oriented due to limited land availability. The vertical design has advantages for low latency and shorter fiber runs, aligning well with emerging AI business plans. The data center will cater to the growing digital transformation in the healthcare industry.

Building in Chicago poses challenges, especially in terms of regulatory hurdles and navigating local politics. Huffman emphasizes the importance of understanding the priorities of the city’s mayor’s office. Metro Edge went through an entitlement process that took over a year and cost $3.2 million. However, despite the challenges, the location within the Illinois Medical District offers unique advantages for a data center.

Regarding key infrastructure requirements, Metro Edge found that fiber network availability was not a major issue. Power was a crucial consideration, and the company ensured its availability for the data center. With these elements in place, Metro Edge is moving forward with the construction of IMD1.

The project holds promising prospects for healthcare institutions in the area that are interested in having on-premise data centers. The vertical design of IMD1 opens possibilities for advancing AI technologies in the healthcare industry.

Metro Edge’s venture into the development of a data center in Chicago demonstrates their unique approach and expertise in tackling complex projects. IMD1’s construction is set to provide a high-quality data center facility to meet the growing demands of the digital landscape.