The Digital Crossroad data center has opened in Hammond. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report construction on the $40 million, 105,000-square-foot building is now complete, transforming the former State Line Generating Plant into a modern technology center where national companies are planning to store their data.

The project aims to attract more high-tech companies to northwest Indiana that could diversify and modernize the economy. Digital Crossroads employs about 17 workers but the publication reports the data center plans to add staff as it signs more leases.

“We’ve been at this for more than two years after coming up with the idea of putting a data center in Northwest Indiana and the city of Hammond,” said Tom Dakich, an Indianapolis attorney that built out the project’s first phase. “The leadership of the mayor, the governor and everybody on the county level made it easy for us to do this. Putting one of the largest data centers in the world in Hammond, Indiana was not easy, but it was made easy for us.”

According to The Times, about half of the data center has already been leased for use for servers that will be connected to a fiber line to downtown Chicago. The warehouse-like building is located by the Lake Michigan shoreline and uses lake water for cooling.

“We’re really working for national clients,” Dakich said. “It’s possible for big companies to come here, large hyperscalers and large enterprise users.”

The companies that store data there will provide their own technicians to manage the data, according to the publication.