Microsoft wants to buy more land for data center construction

Microsoft is looking to purchase more land in a Central Ohio county to build additional data centers, according to several media reports. 

The tech giant has been looking at land in Licking County, specifically in the Village of Hebron and Union Township. If both reported purchases are completed, Microsoft will own nearly 1,000 acres in Licking County. 

Building additional data centers will create hundreds of jobs for Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council-affiliated union members. 

Located east of Columbus, Hebron and Union Township both have large parcels of land available west of S.R. 79.

According to a report in the Newark Advocate, Microsoft has plans to purchase 238 acres in Union Township, located at 323 N. High St. However, the current landowner is reportedly only willing to sell 133 acres and plans to use the rest for farming. 

The second parcel, located at 129 High Street in Hebron, is 99 acres, according to the Advocate. Microsoft is also interested in purchasing an additional 23-acre plot in Hebron owned by the same family.

According to a DatacenterDynamics report, Hebron’s mayor, Jim Layton, said Microsoft plans to build six data center buildings on the parcels, each with 50 to 75 employees, with construction spread out over 10 years. 

If the sales are completed in 2024, construction could begin before the end of the year. 

C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager cautioned that the number of data centers to be constructed is only speculation until Microsoft acquires the land. 

Although the number of union construction workers needed for the project isn’t known yet, Hager said that based on media reports, the number of construction jobs created could be similar to the numbers currently needed to build a Microsoft data center campus in New Albany. 

Brittany Misner, Hebron Economic and Community Development Director told the Advocate that the Township has entered into a pre-annexation agreement with Microsoft. She added that there are additional steps in the development process before the deal is finalized.

Six months ago, Microsoft purchased 200 acres of land in New Albany and purchased another 580 acres in Licking County. reported on June 30 that Microsoft could build upwards of 18 buildings and spend nearly $10 billion in the Central Ohio area. 

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