Monday, October 23, 2017

Microsoft to complete $3.5bn Iowa data centre

Operator has also agreed to donate more than $1.25m in surplus funds to several charitable projects and entities in West Des Moines.

Microsoft has vowed to build the fourth phase of a major data centre development evaluated at $3.5bn in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The announcement was made by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), which said Microsoft is invested in completing the fourth and final phase of the project by May 31, 2018, according to Des Moines Register.

Microsoft first broke ground in the West Des Moines area in 2008 under the $680m Project Mountain. This was followed by a second building in 2014, named Project Alluvion. Combined, the two facilities gave the hyperscaler 1.5 million sqf of data centre floor.

In July 2016, the company started its third campus expansion – Project Osmium – with the build out of a third building measuring 1.7 million sqf.

In total, Microsoft has built 3.2 million sqf on a piece-of-land measuring 354 acres, leaving space for more growth in the Iowan city.

The land has been acquired in recent years and months and includes 160 acres in Warren County, 40 acres in Madison County, 100 acres to be annexed to the project by Colby Trust and 54 acres from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

According to city officials’ estimates, Microsoft capital expenditure in the region is expected to be between $1.5bn to $2bn. Higher estimates place the entire development at more than $3.5bn.

For the fourth phase, Microsoft is expected to spend up to $65m more than originally expected. This has driven the state to increase the tax subsidy given to the company by $366,000, according to the IEDA.

All in all, the development is set to receive a total of $20m in tax breaks and other subsidies.

In addition to the fourth phase, Microsoft has also agreed to donate more than $1.25 million in surplus funds from their Alluvion Data Center to several charitable projects and entities in West Des Moines, including the West Des Moines Community Enrichment Foundation.

A majority of the donated funds will pay for maintenance and improvements to the Great Western Trail ($250,000)  and partially fund construction of a City amphitheatre ($868,000).

City Manager Tom Hadden said: “We view these projects as game changers that draw people to experience nature on our trails and have fun on our City campus.

“We are grateful Microsoft is making such a big commitment to West Des Moines and funding projects that add to our quality of life.”