Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) is building two new data centers in the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District in Innovation Park, a 1,500-acre university-anchored corporate research park in Prince William County, Virginia.
“We are expanding our presence in the biggest market in the U.S., if not the world. Land is far more affordable in Prince William County than Loudoun County,” a spokesperson for COPT told Commercial Property Executive.
The property is situated about 20 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and is part of one of the densest clusters of fiber in the U.S. Cloud activity continues to drive demand in the data center market, particularly in Northern Virginia—the sector’s largest market in the U.S. and the world. According to Steve Budorick, COPT’s CEO, Innovation Park is a savvy place to expand to due to its abundant availability of land, power and low latency fiber connectivity. Moreover, the county is a good partner in supporting its service delivery to their customers.
“By providing a designated Data Center Opportunity Zone and positive business climate for high-caliber enterprise, the county provides an ideal environment that stimulates commercial growth which benefits businesses and residents alike,” said Jeanine Lawson, Brentsville District supervisor for the Prince William board of County Supervisors.
North America’s top data center location
Prince William County is one of Northern Virginia’s most in-demand data center locations and the county’s Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District boasts more than 10,000 acres designated to support data centers and provides the lowest computer tax rates in the region.
The increasing demand to be inter-connected, combined with the park’s prominent East Coast location has resulted in Prince William County emerging as a formidable data center location in the Greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and the entire country.
According to a recent JLL report, Northern Virginia is the country’s biggest data center market, with Prince William County registering a significant percentage of the overall market. In fact, the county has logged 34 data center projects amounting for $6.9 billion in capital investment. JLL also noted that demand for data center space in the region is expected to exceed last year’s by more than 30 percent.
CBRE’s latest report on U.S. data centers trends also cited Northern Virginia as the most active data center market, with net absorption of 100 MW in the first half of 2018.
A recent Northern Virginia Technology Council study on the economic and fiscal contribution that data centers make to Virginia revealed that the area is home to the largest concentration of private sector data center employment and locations in the state. The NVTC research also showed that data centers are a critical part of the infrastructure that supports modern economy, not only in the technology sector, but also in advanced manufacturing, entertainment, finance, health care, information, retail, telecommunications and almost every other sector of the economy.
The first of the two COPT data centers is already under construction and is scheduled for completion by July 2019.