Microsoft is looking to acquire more than 200 acres of land in Licking County, Ohio for more data centers.

As reported by the Newark Advocate, Microsoft is making moves to purchase land in Hebron and Union Township, to the east of Columbus.

microsoft hebron
– Google Maps

The land consists of two parcels west of Ohio 79 on both sides of the village-township border and connecting to Canyon Road.

In Union Township, a 238-acre parcel at 323 N High St is in Microsoft's sights, though owner James McDonald is reportedly only willing to sell 133 acres and plans to use the rest for farming.

The second parcel is in Hebron and consists of 99 acres at 129 High Street and is owned by Barbara and Philip Watts.

According to Hebron's outgoing Mayor Jim Layton, Microsoft intends to develop six data center buildings on the parcels, each with between 50 and 75 employees and phased over around 10 years.

Approval is expected in 2024, with construction to commence in late 2024 or early 2025.

In addition to the two parcels, Microsoft is also considering acquiring a second plot owned by the Watts - 23 acres that would bring the tract up to Canyon Road.

Layton and Hebron's economic and community development director Brittany Misner are in favor of the development. Misner said: "We have a great environment for business, not only because of our proximity to major transportation routes, but also our access to reliable utilities, high quality of life, and a clear vision for future growth.

"At this point in the process, we have entered into a pre-annexation agreement with Microsoft. There are several more steps in the development process left to take place, many of which will include opportunities for public engagement."

Layton has dismissed concerns about the loss of farmland, saying this won't be a problem as through technological advancement "farmers are getting double the yield." He also points out that Microsoft will place its entryway on Canyon Road to avoid increasing traffic on the High Street.

This latest development follows just six months after Microsoft acquired another 200 acres of land in Ohio in nearby New Albany. In November, the cloud giant acquired another 580 acres in Licking County. This latest addition could bring the total up to around 1,000 acres in the area owned by Microsoft.

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