Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors, which oversees the Northern Virginia data center sub-market of Ashburn, Virginia, is reviewing details on the locations of key operational data centers and development projects in the Broad Run District, as well as their respective heights and building densities. This review comes as part of CloudHQ’s previously disclosed application to increase the data center use on its 93-acre site in Ashburn, Virginia, up to 4.05 million sqft, through a project named Dulles Berry.

CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry project is located inside Loudoun County’s Urban Policy Area and within the Urban Employment Place Type, which anticipates data centers as a core use. As part of its review, Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors requested maps of data centers countywide and in the vicinity of the Broad Run. Additionally, the Board of Supervisors sought information on building heights and floor area ratios (FARs) for surrounding data center properties to CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry development.

With this background, Dgtl Infra reviews key data points on Loudoun County’s data center market, with a focus on Ashburn, Virginia, including the main operators – present and future – in the Broad Run District.

Location of Data Centers – Loudoun County

Based on data from the Loudoun County Office of Mapping & Geographic Information, there are 112 completed data centers in Loudoun County and 10 more that have building permits but are not yet completed, with several in the vicinity of the Broad Run. Collectively, Loudoun County has 26 million sqft of built data centers and a further 4 million sqft of data centers under development.

Below is a map depicting the location of data centers in Loudoun County that have been constructed and data centers with building permits but not yet built.

Data Centers in Loudoun County

As shown above, CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry data center site is displayed as the yellow dot, which is situated at the approximate intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Shellhorn Road in Ashburn, Virginia.

Dulles Berry – Ashburn, Virginia – CloudHQ Data Center

CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry project falls within Loudoun County’s Urban Employment Place Type, which permits design characteristics that include a:

  • Minimum floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.0; and
  • Building height of 3 to 8 stories (between 36 and 96 feet with an average story height of 12 feet)

Notably, CloudHQ is requesting to increase the density on its Dulles Berry property from a FAR of 0.4, equivalent to 1.67 million sqft, to a FAR of 1.1, resulting in 4.05 million sqft.

Also, the site’s zoning district allows for building heights of up to 45 feet. However, the building may be built to a maximum height of 100 feet if it is set back by a formulaic distance. Specifically, the set back should be at least one foot for each one foot of height that the building exceeds the 45-foot limit.

Presently, CloudHQ has not specified a height as part of its most recent Dulles Berry application. Therefore, a height and density analysis of surrounding data centers was conducted to better assess the situation.

Height and Density of Surrounding Data Centers – Loudoun County

Surrounding data centers to CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry have built or approved heights ranging from 47.5 feet at the low-end to 69 feet at the high-end. Additionally, the density of data centers built or approved on land parcels surrounding CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry project range from a FAR of 0.21 at the low-end to a FAR of 0.66 at the high-end.

Notably, CloudHQ is requesting a FAR of 1.1, which is a significantly higher density than surrounding data centers (high-end FAR of 0.66, per above). As such, CloudHQ is seeking to build considerably more square footage on its land parcel, on a relative basis, in comparison to its peers.

Height and Density of Data Centers Surrounding CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry

Below is further detail on the six data center campuses, identified in the white boxes above, which are surrounding CloudHQ’s Dulles Berry development. These surrounding properties include both operational data centers and development projects.

Digital Loudoun

Digital Realty’s Digital Loudoun campus stands at a height of 55 feet and has a FAR of 0.46, equivalent to 777k sqft of buildable area. Specifically, this campus includes the following Digital Realty data centers:

  • 43780 Digital Loudoun Plaza: 36 megawatts of utility power capacity
  • 43940 Digital Loudoun Plaza: 44 megawatts of utility power capacity
  • 44060 Digital Loudoun Plaza: 32 megawatts of utility power capacity
  • 44100 Digital Loudoun Plaza: 26.4 megawatts of utility power capacity

Loudoun Metro Data Centers

CloudHQ, through its entity Zebra Ventures LLC, has approval on this Loudoun Metro Data Centers land parcel to build data centers at a height of 47.5 feet, with a FAR of 0.32, equivalent to 372k sqft of buildable area. Particularly, this 79-acre site is located at 21605 Lockridge Road in Ashburn, Virginia.

Digital Loudoun III

Digital Realty’s Digital Loudoun III campus has two distinct land bays:

  • Land Bay C: height of 60 feet, FAR of 0.56, equivalent to 791k sqft of buildable area
  • Land Bay D: height of 60 feet, FAR of 0.40, equivalent to 1.6 million sqft of buildable area

Overall, the Digital Loudoun III campus includes the following Digital Realty data centers:

  • 44274 Round Table Plaza: 120 megawatts of utility power capacity
  • 44372 Round Table Plaza: 102 megawatts of utility power capacity

Project Nova Northeast

STACK Infrastructure, through its entity STACK Broad Run Holdings LLC, has conditional approval on this Project Nova Northeast land parcel to build data centers at a height of 69 feet, with a FAR of 0.21, equivalent to 732k sqft of buildable area. Specifically, this 80+ acre property is located at 22285 Lockridge Road in Sterling, Virginia (bordering Ashburn).

Ultimately, STACK Infrastructure intends to develop a 216-megawatt, nearly 1 million sqft, hyperscale data center campus on this site, which will be known as NVAL2.

Project Nova

SDC Capital Partners, through its entity SDC Ashburn Alpha I LLC, has approval on this Project Nova land parcel to build data centers at a height of 67 feet, with a FAR of 0.26, equivalent to 556k sqft of buildable area. Particularly, this 50-acre site is located at 44351 Import Plaza in Ashburn, Virginia.

Project Samuel

QTS Realty Trust, through its entity QTS Shellhorn, LLC, has two distinct land lots at its Project Samuel campus:

  • Lot 1: height of 53 feet, FAR of 0.50, equivalent to 153k sqft of buildable area
  • Lot 2: height of 53 feet, FAR of 0.66, equivalent to 314k sqft of buildable area

Overall, QTS Realty’s Ashburn-Shellhorn data centers include the following:

  • 22291 Shellhorn Road: 42 megawatts of current critical power capacity
  • 22271 Shellhorn Road: 38+ megawatts of critical power capacity, to reach a total of 80+ megawatts of campus critical power capacity
Mary Zhang covers Data Centers for Dgtl Infra, including Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), CyrusOne, CoreSite Realty, QTS Realty, Switch Inc, Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), Cyxtera (NASDAQ: CYXT), and many more. Within Data Centers, Mary focuses on the sub-sectors of hyperscale, enterprise / colocation, cloud service providers, and edge computing.

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