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Data Center Developer To Buy 424-Acre Site Next To Dulles Airport

The 424-acre Western Lands site near Dulles International Airport that the MWAA is looking to sell.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in December put three major land parcels near Dulles International Airport on the market, and it appears the largest one has found a buyer. 

Data center developer Digital Realty Trust has reached a deal to buy the 424-acre Western Lands site from MWAA for $236.5M, or roughly $558K/acre, the Washington Business Journal reports

The deal still must be approved by MWAA's board of directors, which is scheduled to vote on it this week, according to an agenda posted Friday. MWAA staff proposed the proceeds of the sale be devoted to reducing costs that airlines pay to do business at Dulles. 

MWAA retained CBRE in December to market three large pieces of undeveloped land: a 68-acre site next to the Loudoun Gateway Silver Line station, a 160-acre site along Route 606 and the Western Lands site. The marketing materials said Western Lands would be ideal for data centers or industrial warehouses, while it suggested retail, office and hotel uses for the other two sites. 

JK Moving Services reportedly put in an offer to buy the Western Lands site to build a new corporate headquarters, but its bid was unsuccessful. The company bought over 300 acres of off Route 50 in Loudoun County in case it didn't win the Western Lands deal. 

Digital Realty, the world's largest wholesale data center provider, last year acquired D.C.-based Dupont Fabros for $4.95B in stock. The company owns over a dozen data center facilities in Ashburn, which has emerged as the top region in the U.S. for the growing industry.