: Amazon Approved For Warrenton Data Facility in Fauquier County, Virginia

Feb 16, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Amazon has been approved to build a data center in Fauquier, Virginia. Amazon Data Services' proposal for a special-use permit to build a 220,000-square-foot data center near the junction of Blackwell Road and Lee Highway in Warrenton was approved this week by the Warrenton Town Council 4-3. According to reports, the company plans to invest about $550 million in the endeavor. Although Warrenton and Fauquier County are not typically where operators want to build facilities, Northern Virginia is a key hub for data centers. The Warrenton Training Center site, close by, is home to an AWS data center that was constructed in 2016. 

In June 2021, Amazon announced that it intended to purchase the land and construct a data center, but only if Warrenton could amend the town's zoning regulations to permit such structures there. According to reports, the corporation is "very interested" in Warrenton. The following September, when the municipality changed its zoning regulations to permit data centers at AWS' request, it paid $40 million for the 41.7-acre Fauquier County parcel of property. Several locals were vehemently opposed to the ideas, as they have been with a lot of data center ventures outside Loudoun County, the traditional data center heartland of Virginia. A public hearing on Amazon's proposal was decided to be "indefinitely delayed" by planning officials last year after it was determined that the company's application was "incomplete." 

After the resolution, the Town Council last month agreed to the company's request to postpone the vote while it reviewed new restrictions put out during the public hearing. Locals had proposed the property be rezoned to residential during the same meeting to enable a multi-family, mixed-use residential construction. More than two more Warrenton sites, totaling over 60 acres and more than 1.3 million square feet of development space, are being promoted as prospective locations for data center developments in the municipality.

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