Local officials in Bristow have voted in favor of a Comprehensive Plan Amendment that could pave the way for a 4.25 million sq ft data center campus.
Virginia-based developer Stanley Martin is seeking to rezone more than 250 acres in Northern Virginia’s Prince William County on a site it had previously earmarked for a housing development and adjacent to another upcoming data center development.
Inside NoVA reports that the Board of Supervisors voted 7-1 to move forward with a Comprehensive Plan Amendment during its meeting this week. Supervisor Kenny Boddye, D-Occoquan, cast the dissenting vote but did not comment on the proposal. The application comes ahead of a planned rezoning application, which has not yet been filed. County staff indicated the rezoning application was pending.
The company has filed an application with Prince William County for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to change 269.85 acres between Linton Hall Road and Devlin Road from Suburban Residential Low (SRL) to Flexible Employment Center (FEC) for data center uses. The project is known as the Devlin Technology Park; the zoning change would allow for up to 4.25 million sq ft of development.
Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, said the proposal could be a better fit for the area than residential. She said the property has a limestone bed and would require more intense work for residential construction compared to a data center.
The previous land use designation allowed for 1,079 single-family units, for which Stanley Martin was granted zoning approval in 2020. At the time, the property was owned by Edith Rameika, trustee of the EV Hunter Trust. Since then, Stanley Martin has reportedly acquired the property for nearly $51.3 million.
Rameika was also the owner of properties adjacent to the Stanley Martin land that was approved for data centers in September 2021; possibly for Yondr’s upcoming campus.
Stanley‐Martin became part of Japan's Daiwa House Group in 2017. This would seemingly be the US firm's first data center project, though Daiwa has previously been involved in such developments in Japan.
Compass changes plans in Loudoun
Elsewhere in Northern Virginia, Compass Datacenters has been given permission to change its plans and reduce the total footprint of its campus in Loudoun County from nine buildings to a maximum of seven.
The company was originally granted permission for a 750,000-square-foot data center complex in Leesburg, Loudoun County in 2018. The 97-acre, 75MW ‘True North’ campus, located at 42311 Thunderball Drive, was granted approval for the development totaling nine separate buildings.
Construction on the first building at the campus began in 2019 and is seemingly live.
The company has since filed for, and been granted, permission to eliminate two building footprints from the campus plan, increasing the amount of proffered open space from 64.25 acres to 71 acres and decreasing total data center footprint to 625,000 sq ft. The new permission also includes the option to group three of the buildings into one large facility.
Loudoun Now notes the developer’s representative, Cooley LLP attorney Colleen Gillis, told supervisors after the 2018 approval, the market changed, requiring the shift in plans to develop the site. Other reports suggest a lack of secured tenant(s) is part of the reason for the delay.
Supervisors voted 7-2 to approve the changes. Supervisor Caleb E. Kershner (R-Catoctin) said the changes now make the existing approval better, and make “a lot of sense.”
Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) and Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), who both were on the board and voted not in 2018, once again voted against. Buffington cited his continued opposition to data centers in the county’s Transition Policy Area south of the Greenway.
Randall also said after previously being told that the developer had a deal in place, to later be told it was a handshake deal that fell through, said she will vote against it because she does not trust the applicant.