Iron Mountain is reportedly close to finally breaking ground on a new data center site in Chicago, Illinois.

Plans for a data center on the site at Touhy Avenue and Maple Street in Des Plaines, Cook County, were first revealed in late 2018. The company aimed to build 330,000 sq ft (30,660 sqm) of data center space over two phases ‘over the next five to six years’.

Iron Mountain chicago
– Iron Mountain

Six years later and Journal & Topics reports Iron Mountain obtained building permits from the city of Des Plaines in September 2023 and has completed site preparation.

Construction on the first building could start by the end of March, according to city officials.

A 2018 brochure on Iron Mountain’s site suggests the 13-acre campus – known as CH1 – will host two two-story buildings with a dozen 9,000 sq ft (836 sqm) data halls and offer a total of 36MW.

A Q3 2023 earnings presentation from the company doesn't note a CH-1 site but lists CHI-2 in Chicago as being held for future development and potentially offering 36MW.

Owned by the Pritzker family real estate entity, the site at 1680 East Touhy Avenue was previously home to a single-story building built in 1966 for clothing manufacturer Hart Schaffner Marx. The suit-maker relocated in 2018 -- with the building since demolished -- and has since left the area.

Though the Des Plaines website notes the project will be the first data center in the city – located north of O’Hare International Airport – Chicago has a large data center market and nearby Elk Grove Village is a major hotspot for development.