Microsoft has acquired land in New Albany, Ohio, for a potential data center development.
“I’ve heard it from New Albany Company,” Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb told The Newark Advocate Thursday night. “They confirmed the sale. It was part of a nationwide search for a site, and they settled on that site.”
The Licking County Auditor's Office confirmed Microsoft paid $56.9 million from New Albany Company affiliate MBJ Holdings.
The property – between Beech Road and the Licking-Franklin county line, and north of Fitzwilliam Lane N.W. – is just south of a 200-acre parcel recently acquired by Amazon.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Biz Journal: "We don't have anything definitive to share at this time but can confirm we are committed to supporting digital transformation with the Microsoft cloud."
Josh Poland, chief communications and marketing officer for the city of New Albany, said on Tuesday, “The company has not yet announced their project intentions on the land use, capital investment, possible employment numbers, or operational details. Land banking has become the new normal in the New Albany International Business Park - companies could always sell if they decide it doesn’t make sense to build.”
The New Albany Co. has previously filed plans with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) featuring proposals for multiple data center developments in the area, some of which are linked with Amazon-owned land.
There are multiple filings by the firm with the OEAP; the North Beech Corridor East that overlaps Amazon's land purchase refers to a 4.7 million-square foot data center complex on the east side of Beech Road NW including 10 or 11 data center buildings depending on the configuration. Further filings for a North Beech Corridor West on the other side of Beech Road NW suggest an 18-building data center complex totaling 7.5 million sq ft.
On the west side, the plans propose 18 buildings, each 414,725 sq ft (38,500 sqm), along with a 52,270 sq ft (4,860 sqm) office building and 28 acres for a substation. On the east side of the road, and also straddling Miller Road, New Albany Co. is proposing 11 buildings each 414,725 square feet (~38,500 sqm), along with a 52,270 sq ft (4,860 sqm) office building and 11 acres for a substation.
Construction costs for the two sites could reach $10 billion. The proposed developments would provide 'expanded facility space for an undisclosed, confidential user'.
Other developers are also looking to construct data centers in the area. Lincoln Rackhous and Harrison Street's 1.2 million square feet (111,480 sqm) Silicon Heartland Innovation Park is located just east of the North Beech Corridor East site.
DBT Development Group is planning a new data center campus just south of the New Albany Tech Park on the corner of Jug Street.