A new Microsoft Corp. data center in Douglas County will spread across 160 acres and include nearly 1 million square feet, according to the most recent plans. 
The project in Douglasville, about 17 miles west of downtown Atlanta, is one of three data centers Microsoft wants to develop. Two others are planned for Fulton County. Combined, they reflect the company’s commitment to make metro Atlanta its next U.S. data center region. 
In Douglasville, Microsoft plans four, 245,000-square-foot “technology facilities,” according to a new filing with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The project is considered a Development of Regional Impact, or DRI, and triggers Atlanta Regional Commission planners to prepare for its effect on traffic and infrastructure.
A DRI typically reflects a project’s maximum density for an area, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be developed to that scale.
In May, Microsoft paid $13.8 million for 93 acres in Douglas County, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The Development Authority of the City of Douglasville also approved tax incentives last year for Microsoft on another 66 acres, according to county property deeds.  
Douglas County is already home to a 1.3-million-square-foot Google data center. The county has six operational data centers and eight more planned, according to Atlanta Business Chronicle research. 
Google’s data center brought in more fiber infrastructure and attracted other companies, said Chris Pumphrey, the Douglas County Economic Development Authority director. 
The influx of data centers — projects that can reach billions of dollars over many years — underscores growing consumer demand for cloud storage and faster products.
Fortune 500 companies see opportunities to expand their data centers in Atlanta because of its low costs and central location, especially compared with West Coast cities. The projects can spur economic development and lure corporate partners. Georgia has at least 50 major data centers, according to the Technology Association of Georgia. 
The projects are one piece of Microsoft’s ongoing investment in metro Atlanta.  
Microsoft’s Fulton County data centers are planned for Palmetto and East Point. Each would be 250,000 square feet, according to Fulton economic development officials. 
Microsoft is also planning a 90-acre campus in Grove Park, a working-class Black neighborhood on the city’s Westside that had experienced decades of disinvestment. Microsoft’s plans include affordable housing and community amenities, and its campus may hasten transit-oriented development around the nearby Bankhead MARTA station. 
Grove Park home values have risen almost 13% over the past year, according to an Urban Land Institute team working on a long-term master plan for the neighborhood’s Main Street program. The initial ULI report was completed just a few months after Microsoft announced Atlanta would become its East Coast tech hub.
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