Microsoft President Announces Plans To Make ‘Significant Investment’ In Atlanta

Calling it a “significant investment,” Microsoft President Brad Smith announced plans to make the Douglas and Fulton county region the site of the technology company’s next U.S. hub.

“We really have two very different types of investments we’re announcing,” Smith said in an exclusive radio interview with “Closer Look” host Rose Scott. “A campus, but also data centers.”

Smith explained that data centers are part of “critical infrastructure,” which provide cloud support to the surrounding area.

The company currently has more than 60 data center regions worldwide.

The company’s new campus will be located on 90 acres of land at Quarry Yards and Quarry Hills on the city’s Westside. This property was previously purchased by developers at Urban Creek Partners, but sold last September.

Microsoft will dedicate 25% of the 90-acre development on the Westside to “uses by the community,” according to Smith.

“We can’t just take this 90 acres and build some office buildings,” Smith said. “We need to think about the community as a whole.”

Microsoft has had a presence in the city of Atlanta since 2007, but this will be the largest expansion the company has made in the region to date.

In addition to the Quarry Yards development, the tech giant also plans to complete construction on new offices in Atlantic Yards by 2021. Company officials say this development will result in the creation of 2,500 new jobs.

Smith added that choosing Atlanta to serve as the company’s next hub was an “easy decision,” noting the proximity to renowned historically Black colleges and universities, as well as other institutions of higher learning such as Georgia Tech and Georgia State.

Microsoft plans to take a “long-term view” with these projects, according to Smith. There is no word yet on when the company plans to break ground at Quarry Yards.

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio player above.