NTT has filed for permission for a previously announced 336MW data center campus in Virginia’s Prince William County.
This week NTT Global Data Centers filed an application for a joint Federal and State permit from the Norfolk District of the US Army Corps of Engineers to build a data center campus at 14210/14300 John Marshall Highway in Gainesville.
NTT had previously announced plans for a data center campus in Gainesville but not shared the location – and this address had previously applied for planning permission with Prince William County through a shell company.
According to the permit application, ‘NTT VA10’ is planning to build four two-story data centers and associated infrastructure on around 104 acres. The development project – named Grove at Gainesville in some of the documents – would impact a total of 2.2 acres of waters for which the Army is responsible. The development may also impact two species of local bat and one type of butterfly.
NTT announced plans for a 336MW campus in Prince William County’s Gainesville in June 2022. At the time the company said the campus, along John Marshall Highway, would span four buildings and more than two million square feet (185,800 sqm) of data center space. The first two-story building is to open in the second quarter of 2024; at full build-out, the Gainesville site will be the company’s largest campus in the US.
The company acquired 103 acres of land for the campus from private developer Lerner Enterprises for a reported $257.4 million.
Before now, NTT hadn’t specified where the campus would be located. John Marshall Highway runs more than 10 miles from central Gainesville to The Plains, a town in neighboring Fauquier County, and the road has a number of planned data center developments along it.
Plans to develop data centers on the site had been in the works for at least a year before NTT's announcement. Southview 66 LLC and Gainesville JM LC – alongside Lerner – filed to develop the I-66 and US 29 Technology Park on the site back in July 2021, and gained rezoning approval in December that year.
Southview 66 LLC is mentioned in NTT’s filings to the US Army, though suggests the data center firm acquired the project after Southview 66 gained zoning permission. According to documents, the site was previously proposed for the development of a regional shopping mall that was never built.
AWS may be the intended customer. In a filing exploring "alternative land parcels"’ for development, NTT references a 117-acre landholding (known as Parcel 11) a few miles south on the north side of Wellington Road and east of University Blvd that is owned by Amazon.
“Parcel 11’s development potential consists of only a single building on either side of the large pond ... which is insufficient to support the project and meet its purpose,” the company said in the filing. “Given this, Parcel 11 is not considered a viable site alternative for this project.”
The currently-greenfield site is likely to be joined by other projects in the near future. CTP-I LLC and CTP-II LLC, both affiliated with real estate investment firm BlackChamber Group, are seeking to develop data campuses adjacent to the NTT site.
The John Marshall Commons Tech Park would see a data center built on 22 acres on the opposite side of Catharpin Road bordering the NTT site to the west, while the Village Place Technology Park would see up to 1 million square feet (92,900 sqm) of data center space developed on 64 acres on the south side of John Marshall Highway.
NTT currently operates one other campus in Northern Virginia taken over from RagingWire; a 78-acre campus in Loudoun County’s Ashburn, with nine planned data centers totaling 224MW of critical IT load and 970,136 sq ft (90,100 sqm) of data floor space.