High-Profile Company Coming to Mt. Pleasant

Mar. 27, 2023 9p

(WGTD)----Microsoft is planning to build a $1 billion data center campus on land in Mt. Pleasant once earmarked for Foxconn. 

The announcement came from Village President Dave DeGroot at the start of a regularly-scheduled meeting of the village board. The meeting followed a rare closed-door, joint session between the village board and the Racine County Board of Supervisors. 

"The potential benefits to the village can not be overstated," DeGroot said. "Having a corporate resident such as Microsoft within TID (Tax Incrimental District) #5 will only serve as a magnet to attract additional high-level growth to Mt. Pleasant," he said.

The board plans to reconvene for a special session Thursday evening to formally approve the deal. According to a news release, Microsoft may recoup 42% of the annual property taxes it pays on the improvements it builds, not to exceed $5 million per year for the duration of the agreement and the district.

Conspicuously absent in the release was any information on the number of jobs that might be created.

The deal includes a Foxconn component. Foxconn, according to the release, will give up any right to the 315 acres that will be sold by the village to Microsoft. The purchase price is just over $50 million. The money will be funneled to Foxconn as reimbursement for the cash Foxconn put up in the first place for the land. 

Construction is expected to begin no later than summer of 2026.

No one from Microsoft attended Monday night's meeting. Nor was it clear whether any representatives would be at Thursday's meeting. 

DeGroot said the effort to lure Microsoft to Mt. Pleasant was the result of a year-long collaboration between the village, the county, the Racine County Economic Development Corp., the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the regional development agency Milwaukee 7.

In the release, Missy Hughes, Secretary and CEO of the WEDC, had praise for the development. "Microsoft joins a roster of innovative, world-class companies that are choosing to grow in Wisconsin because of our highly educated workforce, outstanding infrastructure, central location and unparalleled quality of life," she said.

Also quoted was Paul Englis, Director of Community Engagement at Microsoft. "Today's announcement is just the start of our mutual collaboration and Microsoft's long-term commitment to the local community," he said. 

Online sources indicate that Microsft has 16 data centers worldwide.