Loudoun’s data center market just got a bit more
Tech giant Google has purchased 148 acres of land in Loudoun County for
$70 million to build two new data centers, the company announced today.
One of the company’s new data centers will be built on a 91-acre property,
which Google says it has spent $39 million on. The company plans to begin
construction on the site next year.
Company officials told the Times-Mirror it is still in negotiations on
trying to land a second parcel of land within the Arcola Center property
that could bring its total land purchase to $58 million. But a final price
tag and size of the property has not yet been finalized.
The second Google data center will be located on a 57-acre property within
Stonewall Business Park outside of Leesburg in the county's transition
policy area. The company said it purchased the property for $31 million.
Google says it does not yet have a timeline for when it plans to develop
its data center within Stonewall Business Park, but said it would like the
property to remain available for future business demands.
Google said its new data center will help the company meet the growing
demands for its business, primarily its cloud service, and will also help
meet other future capacity needs.
“We’ve purchased property in Northern Virginia to increase our capacity
and meet the growing demand for Google’s services in the area," Google's
Public Affairs Manager Liz Schwab said in a prepared statement. "Loudoun
County has been a great partner and we look forward to becoming a part of
The company said it took about a year to land the new sites and worked
closely with the governor and Loudoun County officials in closing the
“I am proud to welcome Google to Loudoun County, and we look forward to a
strong partnership,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in a prepared statement.
“The state’s information technology sector is booming with nearly $12
billion in capital investment over the past decade employing over 13,500
Virginians. Virginia is a key hub for global internet traffic, emerging as
one of the most active data center markets in the world. We are honored
that yet another industry giant has chosen Virginia for its next data
center operation -- a clear sign that we are building an open and
welcoming new Virginia economy."
Google said it chose Loudoun for its new data center sites mainly due to
the county’s available space to build such facilities and for the
opportunity to expand its footprint close to its nearby offices in Reston.
They also said they were impressed by Loudoun’s “Data Center Alley” and
how the county has embraced the area and the tech companies that operate
within current data center sites.
As part of locating in Virginia, Google said it plans to participate in
the state’s data center sales and use tax exemption, but declined to
provide further details on any other potential incentives it received.
The state’s data center tax incentive includes a 5.3 percent sales tax
exemption in exchange for a prospective company to bring in new capital of
$150 million and create at least 50 new jobs that pay 1.5 times the
average prevailing wage for the locality the data center facility is
located in, or 25 jobs in enterprise zones or in localities with 150
percent of the statewide unemployment rate as determined by the Virginia
Economic Development Partnership.
With the new data centers, the company said the facilities will add at
least 50 new Google jobs.
“We are extremely pleased that Google has made this significant investment
in Loudoun. As one of the top brands in the world, Google's commitment to
Data Center Alley reinforces the importance of Loudoun as a world-wide
technology hub,” Loudoun’s Director of the Department of Economic
Development Buddy Rizer said in a prepared statement.
Google also said it's in the process of moving toward a 100 percent
renewable energy model for its operations, which will include both data
centers and its offices. The company said its two data center sites in
Loudoun will help the company reach its renewable energy goal.
News of the new Google data centers comes as the county has welcomed some
major players to its data center market in recent months.
In October, California-based
Vantage Data Centers announced it purchased 42 acres in Loudoun's
Center Alley.” The company said its purchase was part of its largest
expansion to date with a billion-dollar planned investment in a new,
108-megawatt wholesale data center campus.
Several months before that, New
York-based developer company Sentinel Data Centers paid $25.2 million
of the 100-acre AOL campus in Loudoun and reportedly plans
to build up to three data centers within the campus.
Meanwhile, the Board of Supervisors is currently considering
a proposal from Dallas-based Compass Datacenters to build a
750,000-square-foot data center
along the west side of Goose Creek
in the county’s transition policy area near Stonewall Business Park.
If approved, two or three top tech firms are expected to operate within
Compass’ data center. The company says it is in the final stages of
negotiations, with the companies to move them into the facility by next
At the start of the new year, Rizer
told the Times-Mirror that a total of 43 new sites
identified as suitable for data center development.
The number of data centers operating in Loudoun County stands at about 70.
By 2018, Rizer said Loudoun could be home to more than 100 data centers.
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or on Twitter at @SydneyKashiwagi.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this
story stated Google purchased 148 acres in Loudoun for $89 million. This
information was provided by a Google spokeswoman. The company later said
it has only spent $39 million on the parcel, and if it can finalize
negotiations on a second parcel within the Arcola Center, its total
purchase could be $58 million. In total, Google has spent $70 million on
148 acres of land in Loudoun County.