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East Point, Georgia datacenter project update

Overview of Microsoft’s East Point campus 

Microsoft is building a datacenter campus in East Point. The work going on now is the first phase of development, which includes one datacenter building, a power substation, privacy screening, support facilities, and landscaping. 

February 21, 2024

Community information session

Microsoft invites you to join us on February 26 for an overview of the construction and rock excavation schedule.

Date: February 26, 2024

Time: 6:30 – 8 PM​

​Location: Four Points by Sheraton Atlanta Airport West (3520 North Desert Drive, East Point, GA 30344)​

If you have questions about controlled blasting, please contact Bill Wingeleth of Lemartec at (801) 550-6025. If you suspect damage, please contact Dan Gamble of Gamble Seismograph at (205) 965-1680. If you have additional project-related concerns, please contact Jon McKenley of Microsoft at (470) 832-6713.

January 25, 2024

Datacenter project update 

Datacenter construction is expected to restart on February 1, 2024. Below is a recap of our efforts to keep neighbors informed of this next phase of work which includes site clearing and rock excavation.  

In November 2023, the Microsoft datacenter project team met with East Point neighbors to discuss the start of construction, conduct discussions, and provide information about what to expect.   

Based on feedback we received in August 2023; we offered a virtual and morning meeting option to make the meetings accessible for all residents. The three open discussions held on November 14, 29, and 30, reflect our commitment to be transparent about the activity at the project site and to ensure the subject matter experts were available to answer questions and understand community feedback. 

Discussion recap: 

  • Each session included representatives from the City of East Point Fire Department, Microsoft, the General Contractor, Lemartec, and the subcontractor Gamble Seismograph.
  • The engineering and construction experts from Lemartec and Gamble Seismograph discussed the plans to start construction and specifically, the project’s technical aspects.
  •  The subject matter experts from Gamble Seismograph also provided information on environmental assessments conducted, noise control measures, and their adherence to strict safety regulations.  
  •  To foster a collaborative approach, each meeting concluded with an open forum where residents shared their thoughts and suggestions one-on-one with Lemartec and Gamble Seismograph representatives. This engagement allowed for a direct dialogue between the neighbors and the sub-contractor experts, promoting a better understanding of the upcoming construction activities.

After the discussion sessions, the datacenter project team coordinated with Lemartec and Gamble Seismograph to notify specific neighbors of the planned work, along with frequently asked questions to help clarify what to expect. Notification letters were mailed and distributed door-to-door between November 21, 2023, and January 5, 2024. 

When construction restarts on February 1, 2024, Lemartec and Gamble Seismograph are permitted by the City of East Point to work between the permitted hours of 8am to dusk, Monday through Friday, and 9am to dusk, Saturday, and Sunday. The rock excavation work, however, is limited to the hours between 10am and 4pm Monday through Friday.   

For construction related questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Cole at (770) 949-0668 or Bill Wingeleth, at (305) 273-8676. If you have community related concerns, please contact the Microsoft Community Engagement Lead, Jon McKenley at (470) 832-6713. 

Thank you for your partnership. We will continue to keep the community of East Point informed about the Microsoft datacenter project.  

September 14, 2023 

On August 16, 2023, Microsoft hosted its seventh information session about the planned East Point datacenter campus to share the latest and most significant project updates, including new community-driven site plan changes and community investments.  

Announcements included: 

  • Addition of an 8-10 ft. solid barrier privacy wall and supplemental trees for additional buffering between the datacenter and residential homes.  Neighbors directly impacted unanimously chose this screening option. 
  • Addition of sidewalks along Ben Hill Road. 
  • Addition of landscaping along Ben Hill Road Microsoft will plant mature and faster-growing trees, at least 18-22 ft. in height along Ben Hill Road to further screen the datacenter campus and allow it to blend into the surrounding environment naturally. 
  • Redesigning the detention pond’s micro pool to address standing water concerns to mitigate the potential for mosquito breeding.  
  • Georgia Power’s updated transmission line routes avoid residential impacts while reducing tree clearing.  

Microsoft representatives, East Point Mayor, Deana Holiday Ingraham, and partners from Georgia Power were present to meet with the more than 40 community members who attended. In addition to the announcements, updates were given on the next steps in the project, which includes ongoing coordination with the City of East Point and associated permitting processes, upcoming construction activities, and future opportunities for community members to stay involved and informed.  

Those in attendance actively shared their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions regarding the project. Among the topics discussed were, traffic, noise, streetlights, and dedicated green space on-site for community use.  

A few decisions were made in real-time regarding adding a traffic signal at the primary entrance along Ben Hill Road, exploring the placement of a “pocket park” on site, coordinating with the local utility to upgrade existing roadway lighting along Ben Hill Road, as well as implementing noise reduction measures.   

During the info session, meeting attendees could view the updated site plan, visual renderings, and information boards at their own pace while speaking one-on-one with subject matter experts to ask questions and share feedback on the datacenter campus design, construction, and community investments.  

If you were unable to attend the community info session or would like to take another look at updated renderings provided during the meeting, please see below: 

Stay connected  

For questions about the project, please contact the Community Engagement Manager, Jon McKenley, at eastpointdc@microsoft.com or (470) 832-6713. 

 

Additional resources:

March 1, 2023

On February 9, 2023, Microsoft co-hosted a community information session with the City of East Point to share a new, significantly modified design reflecting feedback received from the community over the past few months.

Based on community feedback, updates to the proposed site plan include:

  • Moving the substation away from residences and limiting its visibility.
  • Reducing site capacity from three to two datacenter buildings to accommodate moving the substation.
  • Moving the emergency entrance further away from residences along Ben Hill Road.
  • Increasing the buffer between the ATL06 building and Heritage Park neighbors by moving the building further north.
Updated site plan based on community inputs

Feedback from meeting attendees primarily centered around suggestions for adding privacy screening between adjacent neighbors and the ATL06 datacenter building, planting more mature/faster growing trees to help speed up screening of the site, opportunities for greenspace enhancements, and future community partnerships.

Microsoft is working with the City of East Point on further enhancements to meet technical requirements as well as further incorporate additional features and investments reflecting the community feedback received at the last meeting. The project team appreciates the ongoing engagement with the City of East Point and community members and is committed to keeping the community updated on our progress.

The February 9 community info session was the fourth in a series of meetings with the City of East Point community, with past meetings in August, September, and December 2022. During the info session, meeting attendees could view the updated site plan, visual renderings, and informational boards at their own pace, and participate in a presentation. Community members could also speak one-on-one with subject matter experts to ask questions and share feedback on the datacenter campus design, construction, and community investments.

If you were unable to attend the community info session or would like to take another look at the renderings provided during the meeting, please see below:

Comparison of site plans

Ben Hill road looking into primary entranceBen Hill Road facing northwest towards emergency entranceLooking into emergency entrance on Ben Hill RoadFrom residential properties facing west towards Ben Hill Road and datacenter campus

For questions about the project, please contact the Community Engagement Manager, Jon McKenley, at eastpointdc@microsoft.com or (470) 832-6713.

February 3, 2023

Community information session

Microsoft and City of East Point invite you to join us for a community information session about the datacenter project and to share how we’re addressing community feedback.

Date: Thursday, February 9, 2023

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Location: Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Airport West (3400 Creek Pointe Dr, East Point)

During the information session, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in an open house-style meeting and visit different stations to learn about project updates.
  • Talk one-on-one with subject matter experts from Microsoft and the City of East Point to ask questions and to share feedback and/or concerns.
  • View the updated site plan and drawings of the datacenter campus.

January 4, 2023 

On December 14, 2022, the City of East Point hosted Microsoft for a third community meeting on the datacenter project.  

During the meeting, Microsoft gave a progress update on how we’re working to address community feedback from the September 2022 community meeting. Specifically, Microsoft shared how we’re addressing construction dust, and presented an initial plan to address community feedback on the substation location. In addition, Microsoft provided a third-party expert to respond to questions on health.  

Microsoft appreciates the ongoing engagement with the East Point community. The project team is reflecting on the community’s feedback relating to the substation location, noise, lighting, screening, and community benefits.  

 Microsoft is working with the City of East Point on options for moving the substation and emergency entrance. We will provide the community with updates as we know more. 

September 30, 2022

On September 26, the City of East Point hosted Microsoft for a second community meeting on the datacenter project. Microsoft appreciates the opportunity to engage with East Point residents, share responses to their questions from the first community meeting, show images of the datacenter site, and answer questions.

The project team is reflecting on the community’s feedback on the substation, traffic, community benefits, and construction activities. We are working to address the questions and feedback from the meeting and will provide the community with updates.

Sharing resources

During the meeting, community members requested links to the individual images of the datacenter facilities and a datacenter tour. These images are provided below.

View of fully built-out datacenter campus and nearby properties
View of primary datacenter entrance at day one and with mature trees
View of substation on Ben Hill Road at day one and with mature trees
Alternate view of substation on Ben Hill Road at day one and with mature trees

Additional links

Virtual tour of datacenter We Live in the Cloud

For questions about the project, please email us at eastpointdc@microsoft.com


September 16, 2022

Microsoft appreciates the community’s interest, feedback, and questions about our East Point datacenter. We want to share the plan to address your feedback at a second community meeting on September 26 and provide an update on our current permitted construction activities.

We’re listening and working to address your feedback

Since our meeting on August 22, we’ve been working to answer your questions about the substation, site screening, and community benefits. We are working to provide more detailed answers, show drawings of the substation, and share proposed mitigations at the September 26 community meeting.

Based on your questions and feedback, we’ve already made some changes.

Extended the timeline for responding to the blasting survey request

We extended our survey timeline to allow neighbors more time to respond. If your property is within 1,500 feet of the construction site and you’ve not yet responded to the survey request sent via certified mail, please call 205-631-4867 to schedule a survey.

Additional construction entrance

The current construction entrance is located on Ben Hill Road just north of Somerled Trail and we are working to complete the northern Ben Hill Road entrance (see map). The new entrance will serve as the primary construction entrance for the site office and work activities on the northern portion of the site. Once the northern entrance is complete, the southern entrance will see reduced traffic and will be used to support deliveries and work that cannot be accessed from the other entrance.

Communication

We understand you want to know what to expect with construction. This notice is a start and as information becomes available, you can find updates at local.microsoft.com/eastpoint 

Save the date for the community meeting on September 26

City of East Point and Microsoft will host an additional community meeting the evening of Monday, September 26. At this meeting, we’ll provide an update, address your questions, and show drawings of the substation. Look for more details next week.

Update on project activities

The first phase of construction is underway with site preparation activities. The following activities are ongoing and have been permitted by the City of East Point. We anticipate site preparation work to be completed by December 2022.

        • Develop site access
        • Delivery of equipment and materials
        • Site preparation, including removal of vegetation, rocks, and existing telephone/power poles
        • Site grading (e.g., flattening of the site)

The construction work hours are Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., with no work on holidays. Safety is a top priority, so there are safety officers onsite and daily safety briefings. When there is a need for traffic control, we use a traffic marshal to ensure the safety of the community and keep traffic moving. Additionally, our team is applying standard best practices to mitigate dust and debris and have contracted a street sweeper to make sure we aren’t leaving any dirt or gravel on the roadways.  Further, we have a water truck on site to keep dust down.

Microsoft continues to work with the City of East Point to coordinate permitting for subsequent efforts, including blasting work for rock removal. We appreciate your patience as our construction crews work to safely construct this new datacenter. We will provide additional construction updates for subsequent phases.

For questions about the project, please contact eastpointdc@microsoft.com.