Microsoft data center planned for Palmetto

Tech companies are rushing to build huge data centers in metro Atlanta and Microsoft is the latest, as it plans a new facility near Palmetto. Shown is Facebook's plans to expand its Newton County data center. (Handout)
Tech companies are rushing to build huge data centers in metro Atlanta and Microsoft is the latest, as it plans a new facility near Palmetto. Shown is Facebook's plans to expand its Newton County data center. (Handout)

Credit: Submitted by Facebook

Credit: Submitted by Facebook

Microsoft is expected to build a 250,000 square-foot data center in South Fulton County, the tech titan’s latest expansion in metro Atlanta.

Fulton officials this month approved a $420 million bond sale to finance land acquisition and construction of the data center, which will be leased to Microsoft. The facility will be located about two miles northeast of Palmetto, near a Lowe’s warehouse.

The project is expected to create 300 to 1,000 temporary construction jobs and 20 permanent jobs.

The maker of Windows software and Xbox video-game consoles has been active in Atlanta. Microsoft reportedly acquired the 70-acre former Quarry Yards site on the Westside this year, according to people with knowledge of the deal. The Seattle company is also expected to open an office this year at Atlantic Station, where it will create 1,500 jobs.

Microsoft plans to build a data center near Palmetto, financed by a Fulton County $420 million bond sale. Shown is the construction site of the new Switch data center Switch in Lithia Springs on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Microsoft plans to build a data center near Palmetto, financed by a Fulton County $420 million bond sale. Shown is the construction site of the new Switch data center Switch in Lithia Springs on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

The Development Authority of Fulton County also gave initial approval this month for a second $420 million bond sale to finance an additional data center in South Fulton, possibly for Microsoft, according to documents filed with the authority.

A Microsoft spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

Metro Atlanta has become a hotbed for the data center industry, due to a combination of cheap land, low power costs and aggressive use of tax incentives. Data centers — also called server farms — house computer equipment used to store information and power online computing.

Facebook plans to expand its Newton County data center to more than 2.5 million square feet, while Google is expanding its Douglas County center to more than 1 million square feet. Also in Douglas County, the Las Vegas company Switch is building a $2.5 billion data center campus where it will lease space to other firms.

Synovus Bank is trustee for Fulton County on the $420 million bond sale.

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