Virginia's Henrico County Board of Supervisors has approved the request for more than 622 acres of land outside Richmond to be rezoned for data centers and manufacturing facilities developments.

First reported by 8News, developer Hourigan is looking to build on parcels of land located on the north and south sides of East Williamsburg Road at its intersection with Technology Boulevard. Much of the land is currently populated with forests.

VAH campus richmond virginia
– Google Maps

In addition to data centers and "advanced manufacturing" facilities, Hourigan is also looking at the possibility of other facilities such as office buildings.

The vote passed unanimously for the rezoning request that would see the parcels change from "agricultural" to "light industrial."

In total, around 65 percent of the 622 acres would be developed. During the meeting held on May 14, Hourigan told planning director Joe Emerson that, while it would not be possible to have solar panels on the roof of the data center as that space will be needed for cooling equipment, Hourigan and Dominion Energy will commit $5 million to provide solar panels at up to 250 local homes.

Building heights at the development will be limited to 93 feet, and the company is including noise mitigation solutions. There will also be 50 feet or more of visual buffers including existing vegetation, new plantings, and building setbacks.

During the meeting, several residents raised concerns about the environment, hyper industrialization of their neighbourhoods, and the 10 years of construction that was described by project planners.

As such, the board requested that Hourigan agree to conduct internal monitoring of air pollution caused by the development and to inform the public. Hourigan declined the request, dubbing it "highly unusual."

Hourigan said that as yet, they do not have contracts confirmed from end users and cannot say for sure what sort of data centers they will be developing until the proposal is approved.

According to Emerson, data centers in Henrico have thus far brought in around $18 million in tax revenue.

Hourigan representatives said that the project may not even begin construction for a few years.

Hourigan first proposed a data center development in Henrico County in December 2023, at the time describing it as a 320-acre data center campus. In March 2024, the company filed to rezone the 622 acres to develop what was being referred to as White Oak Technology Park 2. According to that filing, it could have up to 13 data centers built on-site.

Prior to the Hourigan request, a different organization applied to rezone 530 acres on the site for instructional uses, including distribution centers. This filing was submitted by Atlantic Crossing LLC, which withdrew the request in 2022.

Atlantic Crossing has since acquired more land to add to the site. Hourigan’s LLC is under contract to purchase the site, which consists of a dozen parcels. The land is assessed by the county at nearly $2.8 million. The parcel includes portions of two Civil War battlefields.

The new campus would be located a few miles away from the original White Oak Technology Park, where Meta and QTS operate facilities.