Amazon files application to build data center in Warrenton

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

In April, Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, a law firm based in Arlington, submitted a land-development application for a special-use permit on behalf of Amazon Data Services, Inc. to build an approximately 220,000-square-foot, single-story data center in Warrenton at the intersection of Blackwell Road and Lee Highway.

Amazon Data Services location on map
Amazon Data Services, Inc. has filed an application to build a 220,000-square-foot data center in Warrenton at the intersection of Blackwell Road and Lee Highway, behind the Country Chevrolet. (Courtesy InsideNova.com)

Amazon purchased the approximately 42-acre property for $39.7 million last September, but the company is just now submitting a special permit application with the town to allow the project to move forward.

In August 2021, the Warrenton Town Council approved an ordinance to allow a data center to be built following approval of a special-use permit.



If approved, the new data center would be a westward expansion of Amazon’s already significant footprint in Northern Virginia. Amazon Web Services operates numerous data centers in Loudoun and Prince William counties.

The application follows Dominion Energy’s proposal — which it submitted within a week of Amazon’s application — to build a substation behind the Country Chevrolet Dealership Warrenton and construct transmission lines connecting it to two other substations in Fauquier and Prince William counties.

According to the special-use permit plan, prepared by Bohler Engineering, a land-development consulting firm based in Warrenton, the 37-foot-tall building would be approximately 1,500 feet from the closest residence with “ample landscaping” that would shield the facility from the east and west.

During development there would be construction traffic that will access the site from Broadview Avenue and Blackwell Road. But once in operation, Amazon said there would be “very little traffic, and what there is will have no appreciable effect on existing conditions.”

Amazon also noted the facility would need to utilize public water and connect to the town’s sewer system. However, none of the infrastructure needed for the data center would come out of the town’s pocket, rather any upgrades to existing facilities would be paid for by Amazon, according to the application.

Lastly, Amazon said the data center would “have a positive economic impact” by creating a substantial revenue during construction, paying “significant taxes thereafter” and compensating personnel with wages that “exceed the average salary of current County and Town residents.”

Once in operation, the facility would employ approximately 52 employees that would comprise engineering technicians, data center operators, security personnel and logistical personnel. Noise from the data center would also be limited, estimated to not exceed a range of 50 to 55 decibels, or “effectively the sound of the human conversation,” according to the application.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

 

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