Microsoft to invest $1B in Catawba

Nov.  10. Leaders of Catawba County, the cities of Conover and Hickory, the Town of Maiden, and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation announced that Microsoft Corp. plans to invest a minimum of $1 billion in the phased development of four data centers in Catawba County over the next 10 years.

A modest number of jobs

Data centers typically do not create hundreds of new jobs, but they do create countless numbers of new servers. The data centers will be located in Conover, Hickory and Maiden, creating at least 50 new jobs.

Real estate

The Conover site will be located on approximately 219 acres north of Conover on Hwy. 16. This location includes the multi-jurisdictional NCDataCampus site, which has long been planned as a potential location for multiple technology facilities.

The Hickory sites will be located on approximately 160 acres west of US 321 adjacent to Hickory Lincolnton Highway and on approximately 16 acres on Tate Blvd.

The Maiden site will be located on approximately 292 acres north of West Maiden Road and west of Zeb Haynes Road.

Eco-devo grants

Economic development agreements and incentive grants for the project were approved at a joint meeting Wednesday by the Catawba County Board of Commissioners and the elected councils of Conover, Hickory and Maiden. Additionally, the Catawba County Property Development Corporation board approved the sale of the NCDataCampus site during the meeting.

Terms include a guaranteed minimum investment in Catawba County of $1 billion and in each municipality of $332 million, with an additional $33 million to Hickory for its second site, over 10 years.

Performance-based incentive grants of 50 percent real property and 85 percent  personal property will be awarded over 10 years, with two potential extensions of five years each conditioned on additional development expenditures by Microsoft.


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