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Chicago's Data Center Vacancy Rate Is The Lowest In The U.S., But More Supply Is In The Pipeline

QTS Data Center's Chicago facility in Pilsen.
QTS Data Center's Chicago facility in Pilsen.

Chicago is a top-three data center market because of its location and population density. A new report from CBRE reveals that Chicago has the lowest vacancy rate of major U.S. data center markets, and that may have short-term ramifications for operators.

Chicago's data center vacancy rate in the first six months of the year sat at an impressive 2.1%, fueled by leasing activity from both hyperscale and enterprise users. Chicago data centers saw 4.2 megawatts of positive absorption in H1 and demand from enterprise users will remain high as those companies continue their gradual migrations of IT workloads to cloud and third-party facilities.

CBRE Director of Data Research Jeff West said hyperscale users are, for the moment, focused on building and deploying their own cloud infrastructure. But that demand will eventually return and will likely dovetail with 40.8MW of new supply. Of that, 28.6MW is already pre-leased.

There is 284MW of new data center supply under construction in the nation's major markets. Northern Virginia leads the way with 119MW, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth (47MW), Silicon Valley (30MW) and Phoenix (28MW).