The San Antonio City Council will consider giving Microsoft a 10-year tax abatement valued at $20 million to gain a commitment for a massive 470,000 square foot data center, according to local media reports. The tax abatement is being considered for 44 acres in the Westover Hills development at 5150 Rogers Road. The city is also asking CPS Energy to approve up to $5.2 million in assistance to help pay for electrical infrastructure for the project from CPS Energy’s Community Infrastructure and Economic Development Fund. The incentive package will be considered in a meeting today.
Reports of the cost of Microsoft’s project have ranged from $600 million up to $980 million. Mike Manos, senior director of Microsoft Data Center Services, placed the company’s investment at $550 million, but said that was a “conservative figure.”
The incentive package needs approval because the center will create only 75 jobs, short of the 500 job miniumum required for an abatement longer than six years. Local economic development officials are pushing hard for approval, saying it is essential to gain a commitment from Microsoft. Winning the Microsoft project would also help establish San Antonio as a destination for enterpise data center development.
“San Antonio is competing with multiple sites across the country for this proposed project,” according to an Economic Development Department statement recommending the project. “Thus, reduction in this incentive package may result in the project not coming to San Antonio with the resultant loss in the positive economic and fiscal impact to San Antonio.”
“(Today) is a very big step in making sure San Antonio is the place to locate Microsoft’s next data center,” Manos told the San Antonio Express-News.
San Antonio is an emerging market for data center development due to cost issues, especially the price of power, which is more affordable than other major markets in Texas.