Another sprawling data center campus is proposed south of Atlanta

The Fairburn Technology Center would add nearly 1.2 million square feet of data center space to Atlanta’s fast-growing server storage market
A look inside one of Microsoft’s Azure data centers. (Courtesy of Microsoft)

Credit: Microsoft

Credit: Microsoft

A look inside one of Microsoft’s Azure data centers. (Courtesy of Microsoft)

Atlanta’s Southside could soon house another large data center campus as the region’s status as a hub for computer and server storage continues to rise.

Called the Fairburn Technology Center, the project was disclosed last week in a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) filing. The state paperwork, which is required for large projects that potentially impact multiple jurisdictions, is a preliminary step in developing a data center campus on a 60-acre site along Bohannon Drive near I-85.

Details were scant, including the project’s end user, but the project would span nearly 1.2 million square feet across multiple buildings, filings show. The Fairburn effort joins a trend of supersized — and energy hungry — data center campuses that are beginning to strain Georgia’s power grid, concerning some lawmakers, utility leaders and residents.

The project’s developer is listed as Bohannon Road Venture LLC, which state business records show formed in November. It’s a subsidiary of Atlanta-based industrial developer Strategic Real Estate Partners, according to a copy of the rezoning application provided by Fairburn. The developer declined to comment.

Property records show the project site is currently farmland and rural homes owned by a half-dozen different residents. The land would need to be rezoned to industrial to allow for the data center development. The site is near multiple large distribution centers, including those by Samsung Electronics America and SC Johnson & Sons.

Data centers are effectively warehouses filled with computer servers that store files, power online services and house artificial intelligence systems. They’ve become one of the hottest uses for undeveloped real estate in metro Atlanta, with roughly 20 gigantic data center campuses either in development or preparing for sizable expansions across Georgia, mostly near Atlanta.

Since 2023, data center construction in metro Atlanta has increased 211%, which is the fastest among major data center markets across the country, according to data from real estate services firm CBRE. State regulators last month allowed Georgia Power to expand its electricity-generating capacity — mostly powered by fossil fuels — mainly due to the vast number of data center projects being built or in the pipeline across the state.

This year, state lawmakers passed a suspension of the state sales tax break program for certain large data centers. The bill’s sponsors said the incentive program isn’t giving the state much financial return on its multimillion-dollar investment. But Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed that measure earlier this month, saying a suspension would be abrupt, especially after the state Legislature two years ago extended the program until 2031.

The Fairburn project, which would consist of three warehouses, is estimated to be complete by 2028, according to the DRI filing.