- Vantage Data Centers announced on Oct. 10 it is planning to build a $1 billion campus on a 42-acre site in Ashburn, VA, according to Bisnow.
- The California-based company plans to break ground on the project, its largest center to date, in 2018. The development, which will include five buildings that total more than 1 million square feet, will have 108 megawatts of capacity
- Ashburn is known as "data center alley" because it plays host to one of the largest collections of data centers in the world. The city now boasts 4.6 million square feet of data centers with 616 megawatts. The Vantage project will add 18% to Ashburn's capacity.
Data centers are one of the drivers behind a projected 3.7% growth rate in the industrial sector by 2019, according to the Urban Land Institute's latest Real Estate Economic Forecast.
Facebook helped bolster that prediction with its recent announcement that it was planning to build a $1 billion data center in Virginia as well, this one farther south in Richmond-area Henrico County. According to CNN, $750 million will be used for construction, and $250 million will be spent on the solar infrastructure that will provide power to the data center. Facebook reportedly received $19 million in state tax incentives for locating its facility there.
Northern Virginia, according to Data Center Frontier, is the nation's largest data center market, with Loudon and Prince William counties at the epicenter. The popularity of this area comes down to several reasons: access to the highest-density dark fiber system in the world; the largest concentration of co-location and cloud service providers; proximity to the Northeast; little potential for natural disasters; competitive power pricing and a business-friendly environment.
But other states are also making a grab for data center business, offering their own tax-break packages to draw major tech companies in. For instance, Iowa is giving Apple about $208 million in tax breaks in exchange for the company building a $1.3 billion data center in Waukee, IA. The data center will generate a relatively small number of new jobs, but Apple is also donating $100 million to an economic development fund that will help the city expand its infrastructure to accommodate a growing population.