Northern Virginia: Expansion of Data Center Utilities Approved by Leesburg Council

Mar 20, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Leesburg may create a data center alley. Last Tuesday, the Town Council authorized water and sewer connections for two two-story data centers proposed for the Compass Creek retail development along the Dulles Greenway north of Microsoft's data center facility. A 400,000-square-foot data center and 200,000-square-foot office building are planned. The utility service would only be utilized in offices, not data center cooling systems. The Peterson Companies' 30-acre site sits south of the town's corporate borders. The council obliged the owners to request a boundary line modification to bring the property inside the town boundaries within 30 days as part of the resolution allowing utilities. The town/county Joint Land Management Area includes the tract for town utility service and expansion. Last year, the municipality initiated an annexation lawsuit after the county rejected its boundary line modification to encompass the Compass Creek mall and Microsoft facility to the south. 

A boundary line modification is a cooperative procedure that only requires Town Council and Board of Supervisors resolutions, with ultimate approval from a Circuit Court judge. The utility service resolution also required the municipality to maintain the $1 per $100 personal property tax rate for five years. That tax is implemented for machinery in data centers. Data centers in town would pay county and local real estate and personal property taxes. Councilman Patrick Wilt pointed out that other municipal firms don't have tax rate freeze promises. He opposed the utility resolution alone. The Town Council reviewed Peterson's third JMLA out-of-town utility extension request this year. Last month, the council gave the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Basic Training Center water and sewer service. 

Titan Virginia Ready-Mix, which sold its site to JK Land Holdings for a 112-acre data center facility, requested temporary water service from the council. Unlike the other two, the property requesting water supply is not adjacent to the town limit.