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Microsoft will build a new campus in Atlanta, Georgia, and a new datacenter region in the metro area's Douglas and Fulton counties as part of a massive investment in the region.
The 90-acre tract of land purchased for the upcoming campus will eventually become the company's third-largest hub, after its Seattle and Silicon Valley facilities, according to Brad Smith's announcement post. Microsoft purchased the land, located in one of Atlanta's historically Black neighborhoods, for $127 million in September. The company will also open a new 523,000 square foot facility in downtown Atlanta later this year, where it plans to have 2,500 jobs between the new location and existing sales facilities in the region.
The announcement has been in the works for a while. "They bought a huge tract of unbuilt land that's in a historically Black neighborhood and community that's been underserved for decades," Katie Kirkpatrick, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, told Protocol earlier this year about the Quarry Yards purchase. "That investment shocked us because they could have a real substantial impact on the Black community and Black neighborhood that is there."
Over the last decade, Atlanta has earned a reputation as a burgeoning tech capital, home to startups like MailChimp and LeaseQuery. The region has also been cited as an important place to invest for companies interested in diversifying their workforces, as more Black engineers graduate from nearby colleges than anywhere else in the country.
Microsoft has committed to dedicating at least 25% of the 90-acre Quarry Hills land for affordable housing and other community services, according to Smith's announcement. Tech campuses that incorporate affordable housing and community services have become more popular than traditional "enclosed" design models like Apple Park over the last few years; Google's ongoing San Jose and Mountain View campus developments both incorporate a similar philosophy.
Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (@ anna_c_kramer), where she helps write and produce Source Code, Protocol's daily newsletter. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.