Shuttered Sun-Times printing facility to be converted to data-storage center

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QTS website

Kansas-based Quality Technology Services plan to convert the shuttered Sun-Times printing facility at 2800 S. Ashland Ave., McKinley Park, into a data-storage facility is now confirmed, after the City Council approved its application for a property tax break of $11.4 million last week, reports Dnainfo.com.

Suntimes.com reports that the tax break, which will reduce the assessed value of the property, will enable the firm to save $11.4 million over 12 years in today’s dollars. According to chief investment officer Jeff Berson, without it QTS would have to build its facility elsewhere.

The firm will redevelop the 317,000 sq. ft. building into a temperature-controlled secured digital data storage facility by installing web servers, data servers and other necessary equipment to back up huge amounts of digital data and provide network services like cloud computing, IT and financial service to nearly 200 companies in various fields. QTS is one of the U.S.’s fastest-growing data center operators.

The first phase of construction will cost $119 million and is expected to be completed by 2017. The firm intends to spend nearly $500 million over the course of 10 years for construction.

“Investments like the one QTS is making to build a mega data center here are the reason that Chicago will be a technology and data capital for the 21st Century,” said Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

QTS Realty Trust purchased the plant and its approximately 30 acres of surroundings for $18 million in July this year.

While the first phase will create 20 permanent jobs, the project has the capacity to create 300 construction jobs as well as 80 full-time and 30 contract jobs.

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