More Construction Ahead in Northern Virginia

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An aerial view of construction at a DuPont Fabros data center in northern Virginia. Data center construction is likely to remain busy in the area.

The data center building boom in northern Virginia appears likely to continue, as Grubb & Ellis reports that several new construction projects may be in the works.

“Virginia has seen increasing design-build interest from the user community, with a number of operators rumored to be shopping for land to accommodate future data center campuses,” writes Bill Moser of Grubb & Ellis on the company’s Data Center Practice blog. “Both DLR (Digital Realty Trust) and DBT Development are rumored to be moving forward with design-build solutions in Ashburn for single tenant transactions of 150,000 square feet.”

Key Data Center Hub
Northern Virginia is one of the strongest data center markets, due to its historic status as a key intersection for communications networks and proximity to Washington, D.C. These factors combine to make northern Virginia a favored data center location for large Internet companies and government agencies.

In the past two years, most of the wholesale data center space coming online in northern Virginia has pre-leased, meaning the buildings have signed tenants before they open their doors. Grubb & Ellis estimates that there is currently demand for 40 to 70 megawatts of wholesale space in northern Virginia, with only 40 megawatts of new inventory scheduled to be brought to market in 2011.

That’s why companies are contemplating more new construction. Digital Realty has already built a cluster of data centers on its Ashburn campus, and last year acquired several more properties nearby. DBT has experience in the data center sector from a project in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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7 Comments

  1. Great post! Northern Virginia is one of the strongest data center markets in the country, one thing more I would like to mention is that Fairfax County and Prince William County, both counties being a major part of Northern Virginia, are offering major incentives for companies moving to or expanding in the area, on top of what incentives the state offers as well.

  2. Greetings. I am the former data center facilities for Thomson Reuters data centers in Eagan MN. I worked for them for over 39 years. I overseen the construction and then managed three 100K plus sites and was also an Uptime Institute member with 12 plus years awards for continious uptime. I now work part-time for PDU cables. We manufacture pre-made power whips that are all UL-listed hi-pot tested and come in 11 different colors. We also have a product called Air-Guard brush grommets for sealing the cutouts in a raised floor enviornment. I used these products in my sites in Eagan. I would love the opportunity to discuss these products with whoever is in charge of power on the raised floor. I also have no problem answering any questions you may have on your site. I have plenty of experience with data centers. Kind Regards Ken Koty

  3. Henry

    The Northern Virginia market is one of the Largest bandwidth hubs in the world so much so that companies like Apple, Facebook , and Microsoft are building data centers within a few hundred miles of Northern Virginia. These three new data centers have extremely low latency routes to peering points in Northern Virginia such as Equinix. So I think we are going to see a continuing boom with data center expansion in the mid Atlantic due to cheap power across the the mid-Atlantic and the bandwidth hub in Northern Virginia.

  4. Todd Culotta

    I did a study a few years back as part of my master's thesis and determined that the state of Virginia is one of the best places for datacenters Particularly in Bristol, where there is actually a great deal of fiber and unlimited power from the Tennessee Valley Authority. There are many universities close by as well that can provide low cost technically savy talent. Low cost of living compared to Fairfax and louden county as well.

  5. Dinh

    Hi Todd Culotta, My agency is looking to relocate our data centers (in No VA) to a different locations, and I am interested in what you found about VA in your thesis. Did you perform the risk assessment of data center locations in VA? Disaster areas? Different Power grid? etc? Thanks, HD

  6. BP

    Hi HD Datacenters are holding steady in No VA and should continue for the next couiple years. My company has performed as the electrical contractor for a great majority of the datacenters in the northern VA area and have worked directly with some of the largest owners in the business. If you're looking for information on the area, I believe i can point you in the right direction. BP