Amazon, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Amazon Data Services, Inc., has submitted a land development application to the Town of Warrenton, Virginia, requesting a special use permit to construct a one-story, 220k sqft data center on a 41.7-acre land parcel that it owns, at the northeast corner of Blackwell Road and East Lee Highway (Route 29) in Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia.
On September 21, 2021, Amazon acquired this 41.7-acre vacant plot of land for $39.7m, equating to a valuation of $952k per acre. The seller was Weissberg Investment Corp (WIC), a real estate developer and asset manager in the Greater Washington, D.C. region.
Amazon’s cloud computing segment, Amazon Web Services (AWS), has an established presence in Northern Virginia’s two dominant counties for data centers – Loudoun County and Prince William County. At the same time, the company is now expanding further west and south in Virginia, with this latest development in Fauquier County and another ongoing project in neighboring Culpeper County, Virginia.
Amazon Data Center in Warrenton, Virginia
Amazon’s 41.7-acre land parcel currently has an Industrial/Limited zoning classification. Importantly, in Fiscal Year 2022, the Council of the Town of Warrenton approved a zoning ordinance text amendment to allow for data centers to be built on property zoned as Industrial, following approval of a special use permit.
Dominion Energy, through a project named Blackwell Road, is planning to build a new 230 kV transmission line to serve a substation at the site of Amazon’s Warrenton, Virginia data center. In this case, Dominion Energy notes that it has an obligation to serve as it has been presented with a load letter, meaning a project requiring electric service, from Amazon.
In terms of timing, Dominion Energy anticipates that it will begin construction of the new transmission line in early 2024 and reach project completion in 2025.
Notably, only ~2.5 miles west, in Fauquier County, Virginia, Amazon Web Services (AWS) operates a data center at the Warrenton Training Center (WTC), a classified U.S. government communications complex.