Prince William County: new hot data center destination
Prince William County announced Wednesday that it has surpassed 2 million square feet of data center space. Its growing dominance in the data center market comes with the completion of 20 economic development projects that provide a total of $3.6 billion in capital investment and 653 new jobs.
County officials credited a strong fiber optic network, reliable power and attractive tax incentive programs as the reasons behind Prince William’s success in drawing data center business.
“We’re delighted to have surpassed the 2 million square foot data center capacity threshold,” Jeffrey Kaczmarek, executive director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development, said in a statement. “Data center projects yield significant capital investment and highly-skilled, high-paying jobs to Prince William County.”
The county’s large land parcels and multi-use zoned sites, which allow for security buffers, also are helping to attract the centers and cybersecurity and information technology businesses seeking an East Coast presence. Prince William County is located 20 miles from the nation’s capital. With a total land area of 348 miles, it’s the second largest county in the state.
According to a recent study by 451 Research, a New York-based information technology research and advisory company, Northern Virginia will overtake the New York metro as the biggest multi-tenant data center market in the country by the beginning of next year.
Currently Loudoun County is the pre-eminent location in the region for data centers. About 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic passes through Loudoun, located north of Prince William County. According to data from Loudoun’s economic development office, Loudoun's Data Center Alley is home to 56 data centers, occupying 5.2 million square feet. An additional 1.3 million square feet of space is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Some of the main players in Loudoun are Equinix, DuPont Fabros Technology, Digital Realty Trust and RagingWire. DuPont Fabros Technology, a real estate investment trust based in Washington, D.C., officially opened its newest data center last week, ACC7, at its 1.6 million-square-foot Ashburn corporate campus.
The region’s dominance in Internet connectivity can be traced back to the 1990s when major companies like AOL and Equinix put down roots in Northern Virginia.