Amazon.com Inc.’s data center arm has filed plans to demolish and replace nine office buildings in Sterling with four data centers spanning more than 900,000 square feet between them. A trio of site plans filed with Loudoun County, and currently in different stages of review, shows the three Loudoun Commerce Center buildings at 45965, 45969 and 45975 Nokes Blvd. would be demolished, as would 46000, 46010 and 46020 Manekin Plaza and 21660, 21670 and 21680 Ridgetop Circle.
Amazon Data Services Inc. acquired the Nokes Boulevard properties last summer for $30.8 million from Clarke-Hook Corp., a Chantilly-based commercial real estate firm. It bought the Ridgetop Circle properties for $26.4 million from an affiliate of St. John Properties in January 2022, and the Manekin Plaza buildings for $21 million frin SIP/CREF Manekin Plaza LLC in December 2021.
The Nokes Boulevard buildings will be replaced with a single two-story data center totaling 311,672 square feet of gross floor area, while the Manekin Plaza buildings will be demolished in favor of a three-story, 313,000-square-foot data center and generator yard. The Ridgetop Circle buildings, part of the Loudoun Tech Center, will be razed and replaced with two data centers, one 254,139 gross square feet and the other about 60,000 gross square feet, according to the site plans filed with the county.
Amazon has steadily grown its regional data center footprint in two ways, through ground-up construction on vacant land, and via its acquisition of aging or empty office buildings. Given the vast number of obsolete, non-Metro accessible office buildings across the suburbs, and the increasing community angst over data centers consuming vacant land near residential communities, the latter option appears to be gaining momentum.
For an idea of what’s to come to Sterling, look to Springfield, where AWS recently launched the demolition of the Belvoir Corporate Campus. Amazon acquired 7951 and 7961 Loisdale Road for $28 million in February 2021 from an affiliate of Philadelphia’s Rubenstein Partners.
The buildings, which were delivered in 2013 but were never occupied, will be replaced with a 100-foot-tall data center and adjacent 55,500-square-foot generator yard.
By Michael Neibauer – Managing Editor, Washington Business Journal Updated May 23, 2023