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65-acre data center site in Sterling sells for $25M

New York-based developer company Sentinel Data Centers has paid $25.2 million for part of the 100-acre AOL campus in Loudoun County.

Sentinel purchased the 65-acre data center site in Sterling from Verizon, who purchased AOL in 2015 for $44 billion.

According to the Washington Business Journal, Sentinel is looking to build up to three data centers within the AOL campus. When AOL arrived in Loudoun County in 1996, it quickly became one of the biggest employers in the area at the height of the dot-com bubble.

The county is no stranger to attracting major players from the data center world, earning the nickname “Data Center Alley.” Powerhouse Amazon Web Services operates data centers out of northern Virginia, first setting up shop here in 2006. Vadata is Amazon’s subsidiary company for anything data-center orientated -- it has addresses in Sterling and Ashburn. Facebook is rumored to be constructing a data center in the county after the position of construction project manager appeared on the social media site's job page earlier this year.

In February, Buddy Rizer, director of economic development for Loudoun County, told the Times-Mirror a total of 43 new sites have been identified as suitable for data center development. The number of data centers operating in Loudoun County currently stands around 70.

Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.8 billion in 2016. In 2017 AOL and Verizon were merged under a parent company, Oath Inc., which now includes more than 50 media and tech brands.

Comments


Okay, so a data center is less problematic than residential, but is that our only option? What about a junior college or something non-retail?


That’s the whole point of the data centers.  They generate tax money for the county.  Instead of building 300 townhouses and schooling 500 kids in their spot.  Yes they only have about 20 people working there and most work at multiple locations.  They pay very well.  Enough to actually live in the county.  Unlike the strip malls and chain stores that are all over.  The data centers are the best thing going for the county.  Without them we would be paying 2.14 instead of 1.14 in taxes to support the school system.


Don’t accept complaints against developing commercial in Eastern Loudoun. I’d rather see data centers than a string of burger joints and certainly prefer it over student generating, tax burdening high density housing. What does bother me is that Western Loudoun especially Lucketts area is almost all one family residential, over assessed land and very difficult to develop land (karst topography and unjustified overlay districts). How about loosening the zoning on what commercial use can be done with all land west of the severely under maintained Route 15?
Bob O__ Esq.


Too many data centers being built around in Loudoun County. The biggest negative impact is that, it barely creates any jobs. This 65 acre data center might not even create 10’s of jobs.


It’s getting way too cloudy around here.

How many people will the data center employ once it is operational?


If you want to pretend that data centers bring lots of jobs that more than compensate for the sterile ugliness they impose on the landscape, the extra power lines they demand and the energy they consume, and so on…can you also explain why there are such small parking lots next to such huge buildings? 


Since Data Center Alley is already Data Center Alley and this will bring more jobs, I’m not sure I see a problem with it.  Other than the scenic value, can someone explain the problem.


If you live in Western Loudoun and want quality internet service, then move East. Don’t be angry that you moved into the sticks and the 21st century didn’t follow you because it costs too much to lay fiber optic lines for 3 people and a cow.


And who wouldn’t want to live and/or move to “Data Center Alley”?

It’s just a great nickname, right up there with the Mosquito Coast.


Dare to think that the BOS can negotiate this so that western Loudoun coukd have decent internet access.

Maybe also fund some computer classes at our
Schools.

Too much to
Ask?

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