June 11, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Launches Data Center Express to Help Make Chicago the Destination of Choice for Data Centers

Announced at Ribbon Cutting for the Server Farm Realty Center on the South Side

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the launching of Data Center Express, a partnership between the City of Chicago, World Business Chicago, and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) to streamline the startup process for data centers, and joined Server Farm Realty CEO Avner Papouchado to officially open Server Farm Realty’s new data center, located at 840 S. Canal. Server Farm Realty’s data center was one of five facilities to benefit from the Data Center Express process, which launched as a pilot program in September 2012.     

"Facilities like these highlight why Chicago is primed to be a technology and data capital for the 21st Century,” said Mayor Emanuel, “I am committed to laying the foundation for the new economy through initiatives like Data Center Express, which will make it easier for data centers to provide their vital services to Chicago’s businesses, creating jobs and economic opportunity throughout the city.”

Data centers are central to the Mayor’s technology growth strategy because modern companies need to be able to affordably store large amounts of data.  The City of Chicago currently has 29 active data centers. The city is a prime location for data centers for several reasons, including the stability of electricity prices, the city’s physical location at the center of the national fiber-optic system, the city's advantageous climate, and the relative rarity of catastrophic natural disasters in the Chicago area as compared to the coasts.

“Chicago is the ideal location for secure, low latency network infrastructure.  It offers aggressive power rates with a low carbon fuel mix and efficient, free cooling and is unmatched in its capabilities for content distribution,” said Avner Papouchado, CEO of Server Farm Realty.  "Beyond its robust communications fabric, the city offers access to a well-educated high, work ethic labor while being centrally located, easily accessible to both the East and West coasts of the U.S.”

Data Center Express will build upon these geographic and natural advantages by providing data centers with a single point of contact in the City of Chicago that can help them navigate the startup process.  Launched as a pilot program in September 2012 by the City’s Department of Housing and Economic Development in conjunction with World Business Chicago and ComEd, Data Center Express has successfully guided five data centers through the process.  Going forward, companies interested in opening or expanding data centers in Chicago will go through the Data Express Process. 

“Businesses count on a modern and reliable grid to support digital technology, create jobs for the 21st century economy and keep Illinois competitive. ComEd’s reliability performance is in the top quartile nationally and offers data center customers strong reliability and technical and financial support to run an energy efficient operation,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. “At ComEd, we’re proud to partner with World Business Chicago and the City of Chicago to cultivate economic development in the region. I’d like to thank Mayor Emanuel for his leadership on this important initiative.”

Companies can access Data Center Express by contacting any one of the partners – the City of Chicago government, ComEd or World Business Chicago.  Any company that reaches out to one of the partners for the purposes of establishing a data center will automatically be included in the Data Center Express process. 


Server Farm Realty is already active at its new location and is currently housing and attracting new clients.

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