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Microsoft Plans $200M Data Center Development Near Chicago

Microsoft is building two new data centers outside of Chicago, according to planning documents filed this week.

The data center facilities will occupy a 53-acre site in Hoffman Estates, and be built in two phases, according to the plans. The development will span about 400K SF in total once completed.

Microsoft plans to invest over $200M in the project and says it will create 280 construction jobs and 20 permanent data center jobs once it is ready to open in the fourth quarter of 2022. 


The company is also building a $123M data center campus in nearby Elk Grove Village.

"The data center will be a welcome addition," Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod told The Daily Herald this week.

Chicago is seeing increased data center activity amid a continuing construction and leasing boom.

According to CBRE, Chicago boasted total data center inventory of 278 megawatts with another 16.2 MW under construction as of the second half of 2020. It is the fourth-largest data center market in the U.S., behind Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Driven by its fast-growing cloud division, Microsoft is among the most active data center investors in the world, along with other so-called hyperscalers. Microsoft, Google and Amazon account for more than half of hyperscale data centers, according to Synergy Research Group.

In December, Microsoft acquired a $28M site in south Fulton County, Georgia, that will house a new 250K SF data center.

Last month, the company confirmed a major expansion of its presence in the Atlanta area, with plans to build a massive data center region spanning Fulton and Douglas counties alongside expanded corporate offices.

“When choosing data center sites, we consider a range of criteria, including proximity to population centers, a broad, reliable and stable power source, multiple high-capacity network connections, a large pool of qualified labor, and affordable and clean energy,” said Noelle Walsh, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of cloud operations, in a statement.