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Meta Buys 475-Acre Site To Expand Virginia Data Center Campus

A Meta data center in Prineville, Oregon.

Meta is planning to expand a Virginia data center campus even as it cuts back other parts of its real estate footprint. 

The social media giant formerly known as Facebook has acquired land next to its existing data center campus near Richmond and has filed plans with Henrico County officials to build more data centers on the site, Richmond BizSense reported Monday.

Meta purchased the 475-acre property from Henrico County’s development authority for $35.3M in October, according to Richmond BizSense. 

The proposed development — referred to as Project Tropical in county filings — comes amid layoffs and office space cuts at Meta and across the tech industry. 

In filings with county authorities, Meta — or an affiliated development entity known as Scout Development LLC — said it intends to build a pair of data centers and three auxiliary buildings on the site.

The property sits next to an electrical substation and across the street from a data center campus Meta has operated in Henrico’s White Oak Technology Park since 2017. The company has already spent over $1B building out its existing Henrico campus, which currently has over 2.4M SF of data center space. 

Other data center expansions are also underway nearby. Just down the street, QTS Realty Trust is adding to its campus, possibly by constructing four, 167K SF buildings on land that sits between its property and Meta’s, according to Data Center Dynamics. 

For Meta, the Virginia project is just one of several data center developments the company has launched this year, with planned expansions of its facilities in Tennessee, Illinois, Alabama, Nebraska, Utah and Ohio. The company also announced the construction of new campuses in Idaho, Texas and Kansas.   

This accelerated build-out — presumably laying the infrastructure groundwork to support the extensive Metaverse envisioned by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg — comes as the social media giant enacts layoffs and cutbacks in other parts of its real estate footprint. Zuckerberg announced earlier this month that the company would lay off more than 11,000 employees, the impact of which has rippled through the office sector. Meta also expects to spend around $2B this year to get out of existing office leases, among other cost-saving measures

Related Topics: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Meta