Amazon Acquires More Property in Prince William County

Last year, it was reported that Amazon planned to lease nearly 2 million square feet of Northern Virginia property from a major data center developer. In addition, another 447,000 square feet were already under construction. The proposed new leases would be for 11 separate new data center facilities.

Amazon already has several data centers in Northern Virginia, one of which is in Prince William County. Amazon’s data centers are built to hold from 50,000 to 80,000 servers each.

It’s not a surprising move for Amazon, considering that Northern Virginia is a major nerve center for data management. Some 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic travels through the area.

This news comes to light as the result of some media sleuthing, not by Amazon’s own telling. The company has traditionally been fairly quiet about its infrastructure, and it generally doesn’t make public announcements about building more data centers.

In more recent news, the entire country has been abuzz about Amazon’s big announcement that it plans to build a second headquarters. The behemoth company’s main headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington. Just about every major city in the United States wanted a chance to welcome such a project. The applicant pool was big — nearly 250 cities were vying for the nod.

In January, Amazon announced it had narrowed the potential sites down to just 20 finalists. Surprising to some was the fact that most of these contenders are not on the West coast. Northern Virginia, however, did make the list — along with a couple of other nearby locations. This has fueled speculation that Amazon is particularly focused on the Washington D.C. area.

What are the chances the final site will be in Prince William County? Probably pretty slim, according to Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, who says that the area simply lacks the transportation infrastructure a company like Amazon would likely want to see to green-light such a project.

However, Chairman Stewart adds, Prince William County could possibly expect to see some Amazon satellite facilities built as part of the broader project if the campus is built in a neighboring state.
Some other lawmakers are more optimistic about Prince William County’s chances for being the site of Amazon’s HQ2. Pete Candland, also on the county board, says that Prince William County may be more attractive than some neighboring locales because of things like available land and softer tax regulations and that transportation issues could be addressed.

While he would love to see PWC get the bid, Candland reminds constituents that any Northern Virginia location would be a boon to the entire area. Amazon is expected to make its decision later this year.

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