Village Celebrates Demolition of Former Motorola Headquarters and Digital Realty Expansion
On January 25, 2017, the Village of Franklin Park and Digital Realty held Demolition Day at the former headquarters of Motorola, a vacant 750,000 SF facility located at 9401 Grand Avenue in Franklin Park. WBBM Newsradio's report on the event can be listened to at chicago.cbslocal.com.
The San Francisco-based data center firm Digital Realty purchased the 18.5-acre site in 2016, which has sat vacant for over 20 years. Digital Realty plans to demolish the property’s existing offices and warehouse structures in order to build a new 470,000 square foot data storage center and a 78,000 square foot ComEd substation. Digital Realty is the world’s largest data center firm, owning and managing technology-based real estate and digital infrastructure for cloud-based computing globally. The firm operates 156 data centers across 4 continents and 11 countries. Digital Realty originally selected the Franklin Park location due to its close proximity to multiple fiber providers and utility substations, as well as its convenient access to O’Hare International Airport and Chicago’s downtown.
According the Village Mayor Barrett Pedersen, “The Village is thrilled to grow with Digital Realty. This demolition marks a historic return of tech-based investment and innovation to the Village.” The proposed data center is an expansion of Digital Realty’s existing 23-acre data storage campus, located directly east at 9333-9377 Grand Avenue. The campus consists of 3 buildings totaling 575,000 square feet. While still in its final phase of construction, the facilities will soon be fully leased. After the redevelopment of 9401 Grand Avenue, Digital Realty’s Franklin Park campus will encompass 41 acres of land. Digital Realty’s demolition of the building and redevelopment of the property will create a significant number of high-tech and construction jobs and generate substantial property and electrical transaction taxes.