Technology giant Microsoft recently announced its plans to expand its footprint in Georgia. The company purchased a 90-acre parcel of land for a future campus at Quarry Yards and Quarry Hills. Microsoft also has plans for a new data center region in Douglas and Fulton Counties. The moves follow the company’s recent completion of its new office space in Atlantic Yards this year.
“These are all significant investments and put Atlanta on the path toward becoming one of Microsoft’s largest hubs in the United States in the coming decade, after Puget Sound and Silicon Valley,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement. “When we open the doors to our offices in Atlantic Yards this summer, we will be able to seat 2,500 employees across the region, including our sales locations in Alpharetta, Buckhead and Midtown. And this number will grow further as we scope and build out facilities in Quarry Yards and Quarry Hills.”
Microsoft’s expansion plans in Georgia
Microsoft acknowledged that an investment this big can have a significant impact on a city. If things are NOT done right, the negatives can outweigh the positives. Smith announced Microsoft will launch its Georgia expansion on three principles and several concrete steps to ensure the investment is a win for everyone.
The company will first take a phased approach so it can get feedback from the community before it makes any decisions about its design for Quarry Yards and Quarry Hills. Second, Microsoft plans to expand its presence with “world-class environmental sustainability.”
“We are committed to being a carbon negative, water positive, zero waste company by 2030,” Smith said. “We will engrain these commitments into our designs in the region with a focus on zero carbon, renewable energy, minimal water, zero waste and resilient strategies and focusing on environmental justice and equity solutions.”
Lastly, Microsoft will not only look to grow its presence in the Atlanta area, but also create new opportunities for the community and invest in it. This includes dedicating 25% of the 90 acres it bought at Quarry Yards and Quarry Hills to constructing affordable and empowered housing and other local community services and needs; offering programs to help people develop digital skills; donate $15,000 annually to non-profit organizations to help them gain better access to technology and funding; bring affordable broadband to more Atlanta citizens through the company’s national Airband Initiative.
“These are not small commitments (at least to us) and we take none of this lightly,” Smith said. “We deeply appreciate the opportunity to become a bigger part of everything Georgia has to offer. Atlanta is a great place to invest and grow. We have learned over the years that you can’t have a healthy company without a healthy community. We are excited to do our part to make Atlanta an even bigger and more successful community in the future. Our biggest question today is not what Atlanta can do to support Microsoft. It’s what Microsoft can do to support Atlanta.”
Joe Dyton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.