Aligned Data Centers scores $700M Northlake refinancing

Developer wrapping up construction after assembling 26 acres to transform aging office buildings in another Chicago suburb

$700M data center underway in Chicago suburb
Aligned Data Centers CEO Andrew Schaap and 505 Northwest Avenue in Northlake (Getty, Aligned Data Centers, LoopNet)

After years of buffering, mega-sized data centers planned for Chicagoland are fully loaded.

Texas-based Aligned Data Centers’ 520,000-square-foot property in Northlake is the latest big data center play to come to fruition, as it was stabilized with a massive post-construction financing package last month.

The data center development company scored a $700 million refinancing for its pair of parcels at 501 and 505 Northwest Avenue at the end of November, signaling its construction that began in 2021 was completed, public records show. Toronto Dominion Bank issued a new $402 million loan for the site and Wilmington Trust issued a $300 million loan. 

The Northlake data center joins the firm’s roster of 13 facilities, five of which are in Latin America and Canada.

Chicago’s suburbs are desirable for such properties because there is space to build, access to water and transportation, few natural disasters and colder temperatures that reduce cooling costs, the Aligned website said. The location also means the company will have access to a large, skilled workforce in the field of maintaining data facilities.

Neither Aligned nor the two lenders immediately returned requests for comment.

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Aligned also has another Chicago area data center in the works. In the spring, the firm paid about $29.1 million to acquire a 177,000-square-foot property at 50 Northwest Point Boulevard in Elk Grove Village near O’Hare Airport. In total, it’s paid about $65 million, counting the Northwest Point deal, to buy up aging office buildings nearby that property to assemble a total of 26 acres in the area in what’s likely a redevelopment bid.

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The company is one of several that has taken advantage of Chicago’s favorable conditions for large-scale industrial facilities.

A recent report from JLL found that the amount of industrial space entering the market in the third quarter of 2023 — 12.8 million square feet — was the highest in a single quarter since 1999.

In July, Compass Datacenters bought Sears’ Chicago-area headquarters for $194 million, with plans to demolish the current 2.4 million square-foot network of interconnected buildings on the 194-acre site.

They will be replaced with high-powered data centers used for cloud storage.

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