Microsoft tells Virginia, 'We will build it'

New data center is largest economic investment in southern Virginia history

Virginia has enticed another major West Coast technology giant to establish new facilities in the commonwealth.

Microsoft Corp. will invest up to $499 million to locate its latest-generation data center (Gen4) in Mecklenburg County, in what will be the largest economic investment in southern Virginia history, according to an Aug. 31 announcement from Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office.

Using modular technology and advanced cooling mechanics, the facility will be Microsoft’s most advanced data center and will create 50 new jobs, the announcement states.

Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina and Texas to secure the facility.

As the Old Dominion did in convincing Northrop Grumman to relocate its Los Angeles headquarters in Falls Church, Va., the state offered Microsoft several inducements to build in Mecklenburg County.

McDonnell approved a $2.1 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist the county with the project.

The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $4.8 million in funds.

The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative’s open-access fiber-optic network was a key component in Microsoft’s decision to locate in Virginia,

And the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training help through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, according to the statement.

In addition, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Mecklenburg County and the town of Boydton to secure the project for Virginia.

“The company’s search process was long and competitive,” McDonnell said in the statement.

“It will further bolster the commonwealth’s standing as a leader in the information technology sector while creating new jobs for our citizens and spurring economic development throughout the region,” he said.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

Reader Comments

Wed, Sep 8, 2010

@Jose, probably no typo. Its a data center, the computers do all the work. Once its built you need a few tech experts to manage the place, and some general security/facility staff and thats about it.

Thu, Sep 2, 2010

Yes, it's 50 jobs. See the governor's press release:

Thu, Sep 2, 2010 Jose A. Flores Commerce, California.

Microsoft tells Virginia, 'We will build it' Microsoft Corp. will invest up to $499 million to locate its latest-generation data center (Gen4) in Mecklenburg County, the facility will be Microsoft’s most advanced data center and will create 50 new jobs. $499 million dollars just to create 50 jobs? There must be a typo. Regards

Thu, Sep 2, 2010

So the state basically paid the salaries and benefits of these 50 new workers for year. Could $6.9M actually influence Microsoft's decision process on where to locate a major, long term facility. And why do taxpayers need to subsidize a company with $25B or more cash and short term securities on hand? State and local governments competing for businesses is a very bad idea. And it often turns out to be a poor investment.

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