Amazon has bought an empty site near Data Center Alley in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Previously owned by local landlord firm Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, the site was sold to Amazon for $73m despite the value of the land being just $3.4m, according to the county's land assessment site.

Up till now, the 4,360,000 sq ft (405,000 sq m) location in the Virginian town of Chantilly along Willard Road, north of Route 50 was mostly vacant. But a portion, local records say, was used as a vegetative waste facility for mulch.

This purchase, first reported by the Washington Business Journal, follows Amazon’s recent $53m acquisition of a 2,500,000 sq ft (230,000 sq m) site near Chantilly and a $118m transaction to buy two other plots amounting to 4,000,000 sq ft (364,000 sq m).

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The site believed to have been bought by Amazon – Google Maps

The H&M family foundation has been planning to turn the site over to data center operators since at least August, when an application was twice made to rezone the site as an industrial park to build such a facility.

Prime real estate

The Commonwealth of Virginia is the home to Ashburn, the world's largest data center hub. Data Center Alley is the other name granted to the dense colo market rooted in Loudoun County. This makes the otherwise cheap land very expensive for data center developers and hyperscalers.

To encourage Virginia’s flourishing data center market several tax breaks and exemptions have been given to companies settling down there.

According to the Washington Business Journal, between 2010 and 2017 the state's data center sales and use tax exemptions were responsible for $417m in lost potential revenue. But in return, the state made $1.3bn and statewide personal income increased by $725m. The cuts also contributed to increased private sector employment of around 7,600 jobs.