PowerHouse Data Centers has begun demolition work on the former AOL headquarters in Sterling, Virginia.
The company said the demolition process for the campus along Pacific Boulevard in Loudoun County will finish in early 2024, enabling the construction of a new power substation through summer 2024 in partnership with Dominion Energy.
Construction of the first of three new buildings will begin in the fall of 2024 for a mid-2026 delivery date.
"It's exciting to see this underutilized site with such a historical connection to the early internet evolve to be part of the future internet," said Luke Kipfer, VP of data center development & construction at PowerHouse’s parent company AREP. "Repurposing and transforming this site to operate at its highest and best use aligns with our sustainability commitment and positively affects how we all live, work, and play."
When complete, the new 43-acre campus — known as PowerHouse Pacific — will include three high-performance buildings totaling approximately 1.2 million square feet and a new power substation. The campus will offer 265MW across 24 data halls.
The Pacific campus was previously part of the former AOL headquarters. The company moved into the 1.2 million-square-foot site in the mid-1990s – before relocating its HQ to New York in 2007 – and was most recently used by Yahoo!.
Structures set to be demolished include two multi-story parking structures, three office buildings, one mail hub, and a long-defunct pedestrian bridge stretching across Pacific Boulevard. E.E. Reid Construction is the general contractor for the site.
In preparation for the demolition, tons of materials – including ceilings, floors, walls, wiring, and piping – were pulled from each building. All recyclable building materials and metal were sent for processing, and the concrete will be processed for reuse onsite.
Usable furniture and office components were donated, as was the case with the property's kitchen equipment, which PowerHouse donated to the Dulles South Soup Kitchen in Loudoun County.
PowerHouse was founded by American Real Estate Partners (AREP) and Harrison Street in 2022. The company currently has a data center campus in Ashburn, Virginia, which was leased to CyrusOne in May 2023, and is planning developments on two other sites in the state. The company also recently gained approval for a data center in Charlotte, North Carolina.