Amazon campus in Bristow

Amazon Data Services Inc. has requested a rezoning and special-use permit for a campus on 59.6 acres between 11479 and 11540 Nokesville Road.

Amazon wants to bring another 900,000 square feet of data centers to western Prince William County.

Amazon Data Services Inc. has requested a rezoning and special-use permit for a campus on 59.6 acres between 11479 and 11540 Nokesville Road.

The company wants to rezone the properties from agricultural use to planned business district and receive a permit to construct the facility outside of the county’s Data Center Opportunity Zone overlay district.

The proposal covers six parcels owned by CBG Land LLC; Mu-Del Properties LLC; VRN Broad Run Overlook LLC; Furman Land LLC; Route 28 Bristow LLC; LCS Land LLC; Pinnacle Real Estate Group LLC; and Carr Land LLC.

Amazon is under contract to purchase the land, which is near the intersection of Nokesville Road and Piper Lane. The collective assessed tax value is about $3.35 million.

The application calls for two 110-foot buildings and an electrical substation covering 3.9 acres. The buildings would be 450,000 square feet each.

The proposal comes with a 50-foot landscape buffer along the property. It also includes open space by leaving a forested area undisturbed. 

The applications come as the data center industry continues to explode in Prince William County, positioning it to challenge Loudoun County as the world’s largest concentration of such facilities.

“The industry has been a welcome source of investment in many communities,” Amazon’s application says. “Data centers create long-term technology jobs and short-term construction jobs.”

Amazon is a big player in the industry in Northern Virginia, with its future Amazon HQ2 planned in Crystal City. The company also has a pending request for a special-use permit, Comprehensive Plan amendment and a rezoning on 77 acres for a data center and accompanying electrical substation near Manassas Mall.

The county is weighing several policy changes that will determine the future of the industry locally. 

Officials are reviewing the Data Center Opportunity Zone overlay district and potentially expanding it along transmission lines. 

As part of the review, the county recently released a report that estimates it could run out of space to meet the industry’s demand by 2035 without land-use changes.

Concurrently, the county is updating its Comprehensive Plan to serve a land-use guide through 2040.

Meanwhile, landowners along Pageland Lane have proposed 27.6 million square feet of data centers on 2,100 acres in what has quickly become the most controversial and contentious local land-use proposal in decades. Opponents and proponents have launched personal attacks against each other, and it has spawned recall efforts against Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland and Board Chair Ann Wheeler.

“More affordable technology and a shift to cloud computing has encouraged more businesses to adopt, and employees to embrace, hybrid work-from-home models. Online retail has fundamentally changed customers’ relationship to traditional retail,” Amazon’s application says. “These changes are likely to stay with us for the foreseeable future, particularly in light of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data centers are a critical component of the new online infrastructure, and land use patterns and demand for real estate have adjusted accordingly.”

 

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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