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Developer Buys Offices Near O'Hare, Will Tear Them Down For Data Centers

NTT Global Data Centers has acquired a pair of office buildings near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with plans to demolish them to make way for data centers. 

Two offices in Itasca, Illinois, are slated for demolition after being acquired by data center provider NTT.

The Japanese data center giant paid more than $27M for the office complex, which sits on 12 acres west of O’Hare in Itasca, Illinois. NTT purchased the property from local developer Hamilton Partners as part of a planned expansion of its data center footprint in the booming Chicago market, as first reported by CoStar. 

The two offices are on North Arlington Heights Road in Itasca, within the Hamilton Lakes corporate park that Hamilton Partners has developed over several decades. One is a five-story structure and fully vacant, while the other is four stories and 40% occupied, according to CoStar. 

It’s not the first time NTT has snapped up land at Hamilton Lakes. The company already operates a data center within the business park and is in the process of building a second. Since 2017, NTT has paid Hamilton Partners more than $64M for around 46 acres in the area as it grows its digital infrastructure footprint near O’Hare, according to CoStar. 

“From our standpoint, we’re probably not going to develop another office building for a while,” Hamilton Partners’ Patrick McKillen told CoStar. “It’s a good fit.”

Data center firms are increasingly looking to redevelop underutilized office properties in the Chicago suburbs, particularly near O’Hare. While the Chicago data center market is experiencing record demand, sites with access to adequate power and fiber connectivity have become rare. As a result, data center builders are increasingly pursuing Chicago-area brownfield projects in places like Itasca, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village and Mount Prospect as the only way to expand in the market. 

In September, Compass Datacenters purchased the former Sears headquarters in Hoffman Estates for $194M, with plans to redevelop the property as a data center campus. CloudHQ is in the process of developing a data center campus on the site of the former headquarters of United Airlines in the village of Mount Prospect, a project that broke ground in August of 2022. Aligned Data Centers also plans a five-building campus on the site of a former office in Elk Grove Village.