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Equinix announced on Wednesday that it had signed a long-term lease on a space for a new data center in Chicago, Ill., and opened a previously announced expansion of an existing facility in the city.

The newly leased 19,400-square-foot space will be developed into another International Business Exchange that will be used to launch the company's new offering IBX Shared Suite. Named Chicago 4 IBX Shared Suite, the space is located in the city's Lakeside Technology Center, where two of the company's other data centers are located.

Shared Suites will be different from the usual IBX colocation spaces in that instead of independent cages Equinix offers traditionally the suites will be configured as shared space. The new Chicago facility will have the capacity to house about 600 cabinet.

CH4 will be connected to CH1 and CH2 (in the same location) and to CH3 data center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., providing for direct connectivity between downtown Chicago and the city's suburbs.

Equinix plans to invest no more than $10 million of capital into CH4, expected to come online in the first quarter of 2010.

CH2 was recently expanded to house an additional 200 cabinet equivalents and the phase's opening was announced this week as well. Together with CH4, this expansion will bring Equinix's total Chicago-area foot print to about 538,000 square feet.