Friday, January 3, 2014

Port of Quincy Selling 200 Acres to Microsoft

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Quincy, Washington intends to sell about 200 acres of land to tech giant Microsoft for about $11 million, which would be one of the largest land deals in the port’s history.

The Port of Quincy announced in a statement that it would sell 60 acres it owns to Microsoft, plus resell an adjacent 142 acres owned by a private party that was recently annexed and now falls within city limits.

The pending sale, on which the port had been working for nearly a year, is expected to close in late January. Port commissioners announced it during their Dec. 23 meeting, following a public hearing to announce plans to sell the property. The sale will occur in two separate transactions.

First, Microsoft will pay $3.98 million for 60 acres the port already owns; the port is also buying 142 adjacent acres from Donald and Joyce Helsley for $6.63 million, and then selling it to Microsoft for $7.05 million, according to the purchase-and-sale agreement, which commissioners and Microsoft representatives have already signed.

The city of Quincy annexed the Helsley property into the city limits in mid-December.

The Quincy location would be the second for Microsoft, which built its first server farm on 75 acres of port property in 2007. However, the new development would be more than three times larger than the current property Microsoft owns locally.

“The impact to the area will be second-to-none,” port Commissioner Curt Morris said.

Construction on the new site is expected to begin this spring, according to the tech company, with the first phase completed by early 2015.

In most recent years, the port has attracted six server farms, which are digital warehouses that support Internet services. Along with Microsoft have come Yahoo!, Dell, Sabey, Vantage and Intuit.
The port says Quincy has been an attractive option for many of the companies partly because of low electrical costs.