New Kid On The Block
The newest player in Chicago-area data centers is actually a seasoned vet with a more than 705k SF portfolio in four markets. It's data's version of the new guy in high school with a motorcycle and James Dean hair. Don't be intimidated.
Northern Virginia-based BYTEGRID Holdings has made its way to the Chicago area, acquiring CNA’s flagship data center in Aurora in a sale and partial leaseback agreement. The 70k SF, Tier III data center (6MW power capacity) was in line with BYTEGRID’s strategy of acquiring facilities in underserved markets like the Chicago ‘burbs, EVP and Northern Illinois grad Don Goodwin tells us. As data centers become increasingly important for a company’s digital signature, more companies are exploring these types of sale/leaseback transactions, Don says. (Plus they help get rid of all those cumbersome filing cabinets you're always bumping into.) The deals allow for lower IT operating costs, and improved technologies help enterprises occupy a smaller footprint within their buildings.
And a smaller footprint means new inventory for the market, as BYTEGRID converts the facility to a multi-tenant data center (above) and begins leasing 25k SF of raised floor (CNA will occupy 30% of the 34k SF raised floor). Since the site was built in ’07 with top notch, growth-focused design, the biggest item on the agenda is moving from a single tenant to multi-tenant systems, Don tells us. (Sharing is caring.) Its targeted users include downtown firms like CNA looking to offsite their data centers and suburban groups like content providers and government agencies.
It'll also look for enterprises and government entities from other markets looking to expand into the Chicago area with BYTEGRID. (Here's CEO Ken Parent at a Bisnow event.) Chicago’s a provider's market with its supply constraints, Don says, and he expects more companies to embrace colocation at a multi-tenant data center as a way to solve their occupancy objectives.