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1/10/2019 6:21:00 PM
Developers line up full funding for lakefront data center in Hammond

Joseph S. Pete, Times of Northwest Indiana

Developers announced Wednesday they have secured full financing for the $40 million first phase of the Digital Crossroads Lake Michigan data center, under construction at the former State Line Generating Plant on the shores of Lake Michigan at the Chicago border in Hammond.

New York City-based Star America Infrastructure Partners, which leases more than $5 billion worth of public infrastructure assets nationwide, will help fund the 105,000-square-foot data center building on the Hammond lakefront, which eventually could expand into a $200 million complex for storing data for a variety of clients. Connecticut-based Bank Street, a private investment firm that has structured more than $100 billion of financial transactions in the communications, media and technology sectors, served as the financial adviser.

“The goal to establish a new world-class data center in Indiana is now within reach, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office, the Indiana Economic Development Corp., numerous local officials and financial partners,” New York City-based developer and Digital Crossroads CEO Peter Feldman said. "Star America and Bank Street were the first groups we approached about being a part of our financing solution. Bank Street’s vast experience in the data center arena will afford further opportunities for expansion and we welcome Star America’s expertise in developing additional infrastructure projects and the support they will be providing through their proven leadership and management.”

Feldman and Indianapolis attorney Tom Dakich hope to eventually build more than 1 million square feet of data center space on the 77-acre site in Hammond, which was formerly home to the coal-fired power plant that was long one of the worst polluters in the Chicago area. 

Digital Crossroads will join the main data centers that have been springing up in Chicago to serve soaring demand for data storage, such as for streaming movie and music services. Chicago-area data centers include the Digital Realty Data Center, Steadfast Networks Data Center and the massive Equinix Data Center at 350 E. Cermak Road.

“The Digital Crossroads Lake Michigan data center is transformative," Star America President and Managing Partner Christophe Petit said. "The Chicagoland area is one of the largest growth markets for data centers. We are thrilled to be a part of the Digital Crossroads team to provide a stable base of capital to ensure delivery of the project and to expand our work in Indiana."

Bank Street Senior Managing Director Richard Lukaj said there was a strong market demand for the project, describing it as "an extremely potent mission-critical data center offering in the marketplace."

"Indiana has created one of the best business environments in the country and we feel privileged to work with Peter Feldman to launch this company into this opportunity,” he said.

Plans call for Digital Crossroads Lake Michigan to include a greenhouse and a tech education center. For more information, visit www.digitalcrossroadsdc.com.

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