Microsoft to build $1.5 – $2 billion data center in West Des Moines
September 29, 2020
Project Osmium to boost Microsoft’s investment in Iowa to nearly $3.5 billion; regional data center will trigger additional development in Warren and Madison County
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West Des Moines, Iowa – West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer announced today that Microsoft will begin construction this spring of a data center in northern Warren and Madison County. This marks the third data center the software giant has built in West Des Moines since the first data center was announced in 2008. The total capital investment made by Microsoft for Project Osmium is expected to be between $1.5 and $2 billion.
“Project Osmium will be the largest data center deployment Microsoft has ever built in the United States,” said Mayor Gaer. “We are extremely honored and excited to announce that it will be located in West Des Moines.”
The new data center will be constructed in four phases on 200 acres of land (160 acres in Warren County and 40 acres in Madison County). Each phase will consist of buildings that are between 256,000 and 583,200 square feet in size. Total building construction is estimated at 1.7 million square feet. The minimum taxable valuation will be in excess of $307 million for the entire project. Along with other investments Microsoft has in the area, Project Osmium will bring the company’s total investment in West Des Moines to nearly $3.5 billion.
Gaer said the good news for West Des Moines is that taxpayers will not foot the bill for any of the infrastructure improvements that will be made such as new streets, sanitary sewers and water lines. “Our agreements with Microsoft use their property taxes to fund the infrastructure they need for their data centers, so there will be no property tax abatement for this project.”
West Des Moines has been a data center location for Microsoft since 2008 when the Redmond, Wash. software giant began planning for Project Mountain, its first data center in Iowa, to support increased demand for their cloud services.
The second data center, called Project Alluvion, was announced in April 2014 and was hailed along with Project Mountain, as a win for taxpayers because of the positive net impact on the property tax base.
The area surrounding Project Osmium will receive infrastructure upgrades such as power lines, streets, water lines and sanitary sewer lines that will help accelerate the development of over 5,000 acres of land in northern Warren and Madison counties. Improvements include approximately ten miles of new roadway, including extending Veterans Parkway from Maffitt Lake Road south of Highway 5 to Grand Prairie Parkway. A new bridge also will be built that will allow Grand Prairie Parkway to be extended from Veterans Parkway north so that it crosses the Raccoon River and runs up to Raccoon River Drive. A list of additional potential infrastructure improvements is included on the Project Osmium Fact Sheet.
Gaer said Project Osmium further enhances West Des Moines’ national reputation as a preferred destination for global technology development and innovation. “We have proven ourselves as a development-ready community with a quality of life standard that is attractive to major players in the tech arena,” Gaer said.
Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, said: “It is very exciting that Microsoft has chosen to build a third data center campus in West Des Moines. Today’s announcement is a big win for our region as it further positions Central Iowa as a national data center hub.”
In addition to the investment by Microsoft, West Des Moines has been recognized by Google as the eCity of Iowa, a distinction that recognizes the strongest online business community in each state. West Des Moines also has been recognized by Governor Terry Branstad as the third “Connected City” in Iowa and the 12th in the United States for its efforts to make broadband connectivity a community priority.
About the City of West Des Moines
West Des Moines is a rapidly developing community located in Polk, Dallas, Madison and Warren counties. The population of West Des Moines is 64,113 people, the eighth largest city in Iowa. The City of West Des Moines offers excellent employment opportunities; a diversity of housing; quality school districts; and a variety of entertainment options, such as dining, shopping, recreation, parks, trails and cultural activities. West Des Moines has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Midwest with more than 61,000 jobs in the community. For more, please visit: www.wdm.iowa.gov.
Microsoft was founded in 1975. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. For more information, please visit: www.microsoft.com.
Caption for website photo:
Left to right: Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership; Supervisor Phil Clifton, Chair of the Madison County Board of Supervisors; Supervisor Doug Shull, Chair of the Warren County Board of Supervisors; Mayor Steve Gaer, Mayor of the City of West Des Moines; and Governor Terry Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa.