Microsoft Breaks Ground on $1B Data Center

Operations are scheduled to begin in late 2026.

Data center with computer code superimposed

Image by Elchinator via

Microsoft Corp. has nailed down its general contractor and broken ground on its $1 billion data center development in Mount Pleasant, Racine County, Wis., the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

Walsh Construction is the lead contractor and is starting to line up subcontractors to begin vertical construction on the data center’s four buildings.

Excavation is underway, with foundation work to start this fall, according to the MBJ. The data center is scheduled to deliver in 2026 and begin operations around the end of that year.

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The Village of Mount Pleasant approved the site plan in late June. The data center will cover about 215 acres at 90th Street and Highway KR (1st Street) in Mount Pleasant. That’s out of a total 315 acres that Microsoft acquired from the village.

Classing up the neighborhood

The Microsoft data center is expected to have a significant impact on the local economy, while creating thousands of construction jobs. The site is just east across 105th Street from the approximately 1,200-acre site purchased several years ago by Taiwanese multinational contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group.

The Associated Press reported in April that Microsoft was purchasing the data center site for $50 million, although the report was not clear on whether this parcel is actually part of the originally planned Foxconn site, or merely in the same tax increment financing district.

The Foxconn project, announced in 2017, was to include cutting-edge manufacturing facilities and eventually generate more than 10,000 jobs in return for up to $3 billion in state incentives. Then President Trump attended the official groundbreaking in June 2018.

In the intervening years, however, the project has produced nothing like the intended results. A March report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stated that only 1,454 jobs, not 13,000, have been created, and that Foxconn’s investment in the site so far totals $672.8 million, rather than $10 billion.

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