Microsoft has unveiled plans for a major expansion in Vancouver, creating 400 high-tech jobs and providing internships for dozens of Canada's brightest university students.

The Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre will take over the top two floors of the new Nordstrom's building, formerly the Sears building, in the heart of the city's downtown.

Janet Kennedy, the president of Microsoft Canada says it's spending $90 million dollars to create the new 143,000 square foot facility, which is expected to be ready in 2015.

"When we made a decision to direct the expansion, it's really about how could we find a place that would attract the best and brightest minds around the world that would want to come to a beautiful city like Vancouver."

The software giant is also creating an internship program called Foundry Vancouver to give 50 students from Canadian universities paid internships.

"It's only the second time we've ever done this. The first was with MIT," said Kennedy.

Ian McKay with the Vancouver Economic Commission says successful start-ups in the city have helped created a technology hub that the biggest players in the industry can no longer ignore.

"We have a lot of local firms who have started up here, attracted capital, built global brands and global presence," said McKay.

"Now we're attracting the attention of the big firms who recognize that the ecosystem here, the technology sector here, the talent , the skills, the incentives of just doing business in the city  are too much for them to ignore."

With files from Meera Bains