A competition at Northwestern University for business proposals was recently won by an idea to locate a data center in the Chicago Transit Authority "superstation" below Block 37.
The team that came up with this idea will receive $100,000 in cash, office space and business services to implement their winning idea. But not everything is optimistic for the team.
"There are doubts, serious doubts about feasibility," said Denise Akason, associated director of the school's real estate program. "[But] overall it was the best idea."
The team of students from Northwestern will meet with Chicago City Hall officials who may or may not give them the go ahead to implement their data center idea. If so, Chicago could see a new major data center being built right below the very city it seeks to support. The students would receive $10 million in equity funding if the business plan is found to be viable, but this would not be close to enough to fund a data center of this size.
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