Microsoft to build $500m data centre in Chicago

19 May 2021 | Antony Savvas

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Microsoft has won planning approval to build a new data centre campus near Chicago, but it still has to finalise the power requirements.

The first two data buildings planned by Microsoft total around 400,000 sq ft on a 53-acre site on Lakewood Avenue, north of Bell Works Chicagoland.

The company has won approval for the first of those buildings from the Hoffman Estates village board, after Microsoft bought the land last year.

The planning board acknowledged that Microsoft still hadn't secured a full power supply to cover the needs of the campus, but has allowed the firm to proceed with the construction on the first building - which is expected to take around 18 months to construct.

Microsoft is negotiating with local utility ComEd to deliver the power the site needs. Power currently available is 40% short of what is needed just for the first building. To meet demand an on-site substation is proposed, which is subject to a future planning application.

Each of the two buildings are expected to employ 20 permanent staff, with almost 300 construction jobs created during the whole project.

Construction costs are estimated at between $450 million and $500 million. Microsoft is being considered for a property tax cut of 50% on the campus for ten years.