CyrusOne News and Blog

Illinois grants Aurora campus sales tax-exempt status

July 26, 2022

CyrusOne’s Aurora campus in suburban Chicago houses the preeminent financial services campus in the region and boasts Three Green Globes designations. Now, the 48-acre campus has added a new feature that will reduce costs for customers while creating more high-paying jobs in the area.

Thanks to an agreement signed in May with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the campus will be exempt from an 8.25% sales and use tax for up to 20 years provided CyrusOne meets certain requirements.

First, we have pledged to make up to $250 million in investments over the next five years, including infrastructure and servers. Second, we will create 20 new full-time jobs related to maintenance and operations with wages 20% higher than the average annual wage paid to full-time employees in the county. Third, we will enter into project labor agreements with local county labor unions or building trade councils for new construction, rehabilitation and improvement projects on the campus. And finally, we must achieve sustainability certification under one of eight approved programs.

The 8.25% sales and use tax reduction will benefit CyrusOne when we invest in future construction and other projects at the Aurora campus. It’s also a win for our customers, as we continue to look for ways to save them money, provide the best service possible and meet our sustainability goals.

“We have a certification of exemption with the state and a memorandum of understanding,” said Erik Leban, CyrusOne vice president of Tax. “When tenants come into our facilities, they’ll be able to execute a memorandum of understanding between us, themselves and DCEO to get their own certificate of exemption. So, when they make expensive purchases, like servers and equipment, they’ll be exempt from sales and use tax on those purchases.”

Those savings will compound significantly over time for current and future customers. But the agreement with DCEO is much more than a tax break – it also confirms CyrusOne’s long-term commitment to the region by adding high-paying jobs and focusing on sustainability at the campus.

CyrusOne has already met DCEO’s sustainability requirement, with Aurora I and Aurora II winning the Green Building Initiative’s Three Green Globes designation in October 2021. According to GBI, these the facilities lead by applying best practices in energy, water and environmental efficiency. GBI praised Aurora I and Aurora II for their robust monitoring of mechanical and electrical systems, including monitoring of tenant power consumption integrated into the documented building operating procedures; comprehensive facility energy management and sustainability policy; comprehensive purchasing and waste policy incorporating sustainability goals; comprehensive green cleaning policy; and comprehensive refrigerant management plan that is documented and implemented.

The Aurora campus has developed an ecosystem of financial service companies and asset managers. It is renowned as the standard for operational expertise, supporting the mission critical infrastructure of highly regulated firms, such as the Small Exchange. Future projects and expansion will build upon that legacy with an eye toward supporting the local community and remaining good stewards of its natural resources as part of our sustainability mission.