Microsoft Building Data Center

Microsoft has confirmed it has begun construction on a 550-thousand-square-foot data center just south of O'Hare International Airport in suburban Northlake.

It's a $500 million project.

The data center is being developed by St. Louis-based Ascent Corporation and The Koman Group. It will house tens of thousands of servers providing information and web-based applications to Internet users and support the growth of the company's Internet service offerings.

About 75 employees will work at the center, which is scheduled to open in April.

Microsoft says data centers are becoming increasingly important with the growth of online services.

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