Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Microsoft in Urbandale?

Several sources close to the development project tell me Microsoft is looking at building its $500 million data center west of Interstate 35/80 in Urbandale near 128th and Meredith. The area is already full of development. A new Dahl's is under construction. 128th is being expanded from two to four lanes. If you're not familiar with the area, it's near the Paragon Prairie Tower (R & R Realty put that up). R & R also is the agency selling the land in that area.

Sources told me last month Microsoft is considering part of the McKinney farm south of Jordan Creek in West Des Moines. Obviously, it took me a little longer to get it out of them about the Urbandale location:)

Speaking of development, the Waukee City Council signed off on plans for TEAM Technologies from Cedar Falls to expand near Hickman and South Alice's Road. It's also a data center or data farm or whatever the correct term is. It's smaller than Microsoft's. This would be about a $14 million project. And some people say farming is dead... Not in Iowa, baby!


Anonymous said...

The West Des Moines site is at the corner of Xavier and Booneville Rd just south of the substation.

Word is that the deal would have been done weeks ago, but the floods gave the MS execs a nice scare at this location.

Good luck with the dig. JB

Dave Price said...

I've heard the same thing about the flooding. But the pro-West Des Moines folks, think this is just "spin" to get the project to go to Urbandale.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen that site? I can't see an exec looking at that site and some how convincing himself/herself that it probably won't flood. I'm sure West Des Moines is pulling all the incentives they can to get Microsoft there, but at the end of the day, who in their right mind is going to even go close to a flood plain after two major floods in 15 years? ...and the flooding this time wasn't even the result of the Raccoon flooding. It was just the Des Moines river backing up. *You should try finding some flood recs for that area from '93. That was a Raccoon river flood that year.

My own opinion is that Microsoft went down the road with WDM and then the flood happened and now they are rethinking the strategy here in Iowa. We'll be lucky if it is even in Iowa at this point.

Another thing to consider is the extremely long time the state gave them to proceed. I believe it is 12/31/08. Probably just enough time for the state of Washington to get their tax incentives back in place for MS. Iowa is probably just another Pawn.

...and you still have this Microsoft/Yahoo merger lingering, which is going to have some impact on the location. If the state wants MS here, they better hope that merger doesn't take place. Yahoo already has a ton of data centers around the world and the strategy will more than likely change if that goes through.