Microsoft Corporation plans to build $1 billion data center in Mount Pleasant

NOW: Microsoft Corporation plans to build $1 billion data center in Mount Pleasant

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Village of Mount Pleasant announced plans Monday, March 27, for an agreement with Microsoft Corporation.

The village says Microsoft plans to purchase a 315-acre parcel of land in Racine County with the goal of creating a $1 billion data center campus.

“Microsoft was attracted to this location because it is primed for development,” said Village of Mount Pleasant President David DeGroot. “Through local investments, we have transformed this area of Mount Pleasant and equipped it with the infrastructure necessary to support a major investment by Microsoft.”

The proposal will be considered by the Mount Pleasant Village Board on March 30 and by the Racine County Board at its April 11 and April 18 meetings.

“Our first commitment is always to local taxpayers,” said Claude Lois, project director for the Village of Mount Pleasant. “That will be the case as we move forward with Microsoft.”

Under the development agreement, Foxconn would release the rights and sell the 315 acre plot of land for about $50 million for Microsoft to develop and build a $1 billion data center campus. Phase one of construction would begin no later than July of 2026…. With phase two no later than July of 2033.

Data centers house servers and other technology for storing information for things like search engines, apps and cloud storage -- all potential uses for proposed future site for Microsoft.

"There's a demand for these data centers because they support these applications and things we interact with daily," Scott Schanke, the director of the UWM Center for Technology Innovation told CBS 58 in an interview.

Officials praised the potential benefits for the region's economy but no estimates of job numbers were announced.

Experts like Schanke said while it is early in the process, the Microsoft development could lead to future projects as tech companies grow.

"I've been pretty excited about the news," Schanke said. "I think it's a really great step in the right direction for the region and I think other companies might see it as a place to put data centers especially if we see success and things like that."

Pending approvals, the village says site work could begin later this year.

Degroot is currently campaigning to keep his seat as village president against challenger Kelly Gallaher.

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