Facebook is set to build an $800M server farm outside Chicago

New tax incentive law credited with helping bring 900K sf server farm to Dekalb

TRD CHICAGO /
Jun.June 30, 2020 02:15 PM
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's proposed data center in Dekalb (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty)

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s proposed data center in Dekalb (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty)

There will soon appear a very different type of farm in DeKalb, Illinois – a horde of servers corralled by Farmer Facebook.

The data center, which will help power the social media giant’s network, will span over 900,000 square feet and cost more than $800 million to build and furnish with the necessary computer equipment, according to Crain’s. It will be Facebook’s 12th data center in the U.S.

“Illinois has been on our list of targeted states for a while. The DeKalb location was at the top of that list,” said Rachel Peterson, Facebook’s vice president for data center strategy, in an interview with Crain’s.

Facebook’s new facility will be nearly as large as the 1.1 million-square-foot Digital Realty facility, which is one of the world’s largest data centers, although it hosts multiple customers.

Krusinski Construction will be doing the infrastructure for the park and the project. The facility is set to open in 2022.

The move follows a new tax-incentive law that Illinois passed last year in hopes to attract more server farms.

Chicagoland’s industrial real estate sector has remained strong despite the pandemic. In June, Amazon announced that it will build two fulfillment centers in Matteson and Markham.

Outside of Illinois, investors have been eyeing the market in recent years. Last year, Blackstone Group shelled out $18.7 billion for 179 million square feet of industrial space in one of the largest real estate deals in history.

[Crain’s Chicago Business] — Sasha Jones


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