Microsoft hits pause on 90-acre westside Atlanta project

Microsoft says it is halting the development of a 90-acres hub westside hub in Atlanta as part of a broader re-evaluation of the company's current needs.

The software giant recently announced a workforce reduction of about 10,000 employees or about 5% of the company by the end of its third quarter. It is part of a broader reorganization after the company’s stocks has fallen nearly 20% over the past year.

Microsoft, in February 2021, announced a major expansion into Georgia in addition to its Atlantic Yards project. As part of that plan, the company purchased 90 acres off U.S. 78 near the Grove Park neighborhood. The company said it was an ideal location being close to Proctor Creek and its associated trail as well as just being a couple blocks west of the Bankhead MARTA station.

"The community has been a desert for a while and we were just excited that this company and this brand of a company was coming in and there was a lot of hope there for us to grow and rebrand our community," said Anissa Ferrell, chair of Atlanta Neighborhood Planning Unit J, which directly oversees the area where the property is located.

The logo of the U.S. computer and micro-computing company, Microsoft is visible on the facade of its head office on January 25, 2023 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

The initial news of Microsoft’s Quarry Yards project drove up property values in the area over the last two years in anticipation of the new complex.

"We have been hit with a lot of tax increases some of our residents have lost their homes we don’t have enough availability for people to move into our community that’s affordable," said Ferrell. 

About 15,000 employees were expected to move into the facility once it was complete.

However, some media reports indicate in recent months the conversation between Microsoft officials and community leaders has gone silence.

"Our intention and understanding that Microsoft would come back to us and have a conversation about what the next steps were and that is what bothers us as a partner in this process and project that they didn’t come to us and tell us," said Ferrell.

The company said they are not outright abandoning plans for the property or for Atlanta.

Microsoft owns 90 acres of land near the Grove Park neighborhood that originally was planned to be a new hub in Atlanta.

Microsoft owns 90 acres of land near the Grove Park neighborhood that originally was planned to be a new hub in Atlanta. (FOX 5)

"We intend to reengage in planning efforts when expansion is warranted," a company spokesperson told FOX 5. "We are moving ahead with the construction of three new datacenters in Fulton and Douglas County as planned."

Microsoft said the land is not for said and there are still plans to set aside a quarter of the property to serve the needs of the community.

This is just the latest setback for tech giants. FOX Business reports Meta, Lyft, Amazon, LendingClub Corporation, Salesforce, and StitchFix have all announced layoffs.