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February 5, 2018

Owners link data center fate to undeveloped subdivision

The landowners contend tax revenue from the proposed data centers near Remington would move than cover the loss of $2.7 million proffered for rezoning of a 197-lot subdivision near Bealeton.
Data Center Project
• What: Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval from county board of supervisors for data center campus.

• Where: 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road, just northeast of Remington.

• Property owners: Bill and Bob Springer of Warrenton; VCA LLC of Alexandria.

• Proposed buildings: 6, plus an onsite substation to provide power to project.

• Under roof: 1.8 million square feet square feet, with data center structures ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet.

• Estimated investment: $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

• Employment: 120 to 180 permanent, full-time jobs; 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs.

• Applications: Request to rezone from residential to “Business Park;” site has approval for 199 home lots and to eliminate $2.7 million in cash proffers for a separate, 197-lot subdivision rezoned in 2003.

• Schedule: Feb. 8 board of supervisors’ work session; Feb. 15 county planning commission work session; an advisory panel to the supervisors, the commission will conduct a Feb. 27 public hearing; supervisors, which has final authority, expects to conduct March 8 public hearing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
To make a proposed data center project near Remington work financially, the landowners insist that a $2.7-million cash proffer tied to an undeveloped subdivision near Bealeton must be eliminated.

Fauquier residents and brothers Bill and Bob Springer and GGFS/Foxhaven LLC of Alexandria own the data center and subdivision properties.

Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. wants to construct up to six data-center structures, totaling a maximum 1.8 million square feet of space. That would require county board of supervisors’ approval to rezone 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road from residential to “Business Park.”

When the supervisors rezoned the Bealeton subdivision site near Route 28 and Schoolhouse Road in 2003, the landowners agreed to proffer $2.7 million to help pay for public services demanded by the new development.

The Springers and their partner want to amend the 197-lot Fox Haven subdivision agreement to remove that proffer condition.

The data center and Fox Haven requests require public hearings and supervisors’ approval.

The landowners contend the proposed, billion dollar-plus Remington Technology Park’s success depends on the supervisors’ dropping the cash proffer tied to the Fox Haven subdivision site, which lies about a mile and a half north of the data center property.

Proposed changes to the Fox Haven proffers “allow for the sale of the” data center property “at a price which makes the industrial project economically feasible,” according the application. “While the two related rezoning requests are required to be processed separately, they are essentially a joint rezoning application with each being dependent upon the other.”

The supervisors, who have final authority, will discuss the novel proposal Thursday, Feb. 8.

Rezoning the proposed data center property to “Business Park” use would eliminate 199 home lots and thus eventually save Fauquier millions of dollars in public service costs generated by those residences, according to the landowners.

At the same time, the proposed data center project ultimately would produce millions in revenue for Fauquier, they note.

That revenue would offset the loss of subdivision’s $2.7 million cash proffer, according to the Fox Haven rezoning amendment application.

A real estate development company, Point One estimated the Remington Technology investment at $1.4 to $1.6 billion.

As part of the Fox Haven rezoning amendment request, the landowners also seek approval to construct up to 66 homes per year; the 2003 rezoning limited construction to 33 houses per year.

> Document at bottom of story

That cap “severely hampers the ability of a builder to generate sales sufficient to justify the sales/construction infrastructure for a profitable home sales operation,” the application reads. “Most builders require sales in the range of 5 to 6 units/month to cover their fixed costs.

“The requested limit of 66-unit sales per year would allow for an economically viable development operation and is consistent with those proffered for other similarly-sized projects in the county.”

The first of six proposed data center buildings — ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet — would represent a $250-million to $270-million investment, according to Point One.

The data center project, which could take five to seven years to complete, would create up to 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs and 180 permanent, “highly skilled and well-paid, full-time jobs,” the company’s application states.

An advisory panel to the supervisors, the county planning commission will conduct a Feb. 15 work session and Feb. 27 public hearing on the data center proposal.

The supervisors plan to conduct a March 8 public hearing on the project. The application to amend Fox Haven’s proffer agreement requires a public hearing only before the supervisors, who will decide the matter. That hearing also could take place March 8.

Application SOJ FoxHaven 1stSub (3) by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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