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New Kids On The Block: Tenants In Loudoun County

Northwoods Sterling
A site plan for the Northwoods business park in Sterling, Va.

Airbus is doubling its industrial footprint in Loudoun County with a 250K SF build-to-suit lease at the Northwoods Business Park in Sterling, just minutes from the freight entrance to Dulles. The European aerospace giant, which maintains its U.S. headquarters in Herndon, inked the new deal to replace a property at Filigree Court in Ashburn, where the company occupies a 120K SF logistics facility with 150 employees.

Airbus’ former digs were sold in late May to a subsidiary of Digital Realty Trust, a San Francisco-based data center investment company. Digital Realty paid $28M for the 13-acre property, which reportedly eclipsed Cologix’s 2018 purchase of 22 acres from Christian Fellowship Church for the most expensive per-acre data center purchase, with a price of $2.14M per acre.

Vantage Data Centers Ashburn campus
A rendering of Vantage Data Center's planned Ashburn campus

Part of the reason Digital Realty paid so much is that Airbus’ former site is adjacent to the multi-building headquarters of Equinix, a data center company that specializes in hosting the technologies that bind the internet together. 

Northern Virginia has become the world’s most competitive market for data center space, with prices for data center-zoned land in excess of $1M per acre. The market also became the first to surpass 1 gigawatt of data center capacity, almost double the next-largest market. Growth is only speeding up, with 251 megawatts of data center space under construction and another 316 MW in the planning stages, according to CBRE. 

Vantage Data Centers, based in Santa Clara, California, recently opened its first East Coast data center location in Sterling. The site has a planned total capacity of 142 MW. QTS Realty Trust completed the world’s first three-level data center in Ashburn.

D.C. United The St. James
D.C. United players practicing at The St. James

Meanwhile, sports are also finding a new home in Loudoun County. A sports complex with a 5,000-seat stadium is underway in Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park in Leesburg for Loudoun United FC, the reserve team of Major League Soccer franchise D.C. United. The complex will also include a training facility as well as four other soccer fields, two open for public use. 

A new Olympic-level hockey facility, the Ion International Training Center, has just opened its doors and its twin ice rinks. The complex plans to play host to professional teams, local high school teams and fitness-minded residents.