More From Our Prince William Event
Digital Realty made headlines a few weeks ago when it announced a JV for one of its Ashburn data centers that valued the property at $1,400/SF. At our Prince William County: Harnessing Innovation event yesterday, WestDulles Properties CEO Eric Wells (right, with Buchanan Partners' Brian Benninghoff) said it's a matter of when, not if, Prince William county hits similar numbers. The county's power, fiber, and land rival that of Loudoun County. It took about 10 years for PWC to reach 1M SF in data centers, he says, another five to hit the next million, and millions more will come in the next five years. As far as office, residential, and retail, Brian says PWC should be able to mimic Reston in bringing urban elements to suburban neighborhoods.
Roadside Development's Richard Lake is trying to bring that sensibility to the county with his firm's Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center project in Woodbridge, a Wegmans-anchored mixed-use that has an additional 500k SF of retail and 300 apartment units. "What people want are quality-of-life choices," he says, rather than just everyday power centers with big-box stores.
But while retail, residential, and data centers may be hot in Prince William, the office market isn't taking off quite as fast, says Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's Larry Fitzgerald (left, with ECS Mid-Atlantic's Joe Meiburger). Office developers have been slow to build, possibly worried by the slow demand throughout Northern Virginia. Nevertheless, Prince William still has the lowest vacancy (14.3%) of any submarket in NoVa.
McGuireWoods' Susan Liberty (with Larry and Walsh Colucci's Pete Dolan) says that sort of supply/demand proposition should be enough for developers to "put their toes in the water," and start building office. For more from our Prince William event, check out today's Tech Bisnow.