Virginia: Culpeper County, Virginia is experiencing a surge in data center interest

Jul 10, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

The Culpeper Town Planning Commission is contemplating rezoning additional land adjacent to the Peterson property for a possible data center campus. On the 116-acre Copper Ridge Data Center Campus, up to eight two-story data center buildings comprising 2.36 million square feet could be constructed, along with an on-site substation.

Six of the buildings would encompass a total of 250,000 square feet, one would encompass 380,000 square feet, and the largest would encompass 480,000 square feet. The property is located to the northwest of the Peterson proposals. It is currently unclear which company is behind the development, but CR1/Culpeper LLC and CR2/Culpeper LLC own the land. CloudHQ may be a part of at least one of the developments, having reportedly acquired 100 acres along McDevitt Drive with plans for a 2.1 million sq ft campus last year.

Northern Virginia is the world's largest market for data centers, but Culpeper County has largely ignored this trend. Four Equinix data centers (CU1-4) were established in Culpeper County approximately 14 years ago.

AWS obtained approval to rezone 243 acres of land in preparation for constructing a data center campus that will include two structures totaling up to 430,000 square feet last year. Amazon is represented by Northern Virginia land-use counsel John Foote, who previously stated that the county's existing technology zones lack adequate power for modern data centers.

In April 2022, the county Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning by a vote of 4-3, despite the county Planning Commission's previous recommendation to deny the application. Residents, however, are currently suing the county supervisors to have the decision reversed. Another campus was considered, but it was abandoned due to opposition from the locals and government representatives.