Amazon AWS: King George County, Virginia, authorizes land rezoning for AWS data facility

Sep 11, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

The King George County Board of Supervisors authorized Amazon Web Service's (AWS) 19-building data center campus's 869-acre rezone from agriculture to industrial use. Birchwood Power Partners applied for rezoning for AWS. AWS has received this first approval, but Birchwood's attorney, Charlie Payne, said they will require county approval for each site plan step as the project progresses. The final target is a 7.25 million-square-foot 19-building data center campus.

The Board of Supervisors deliberated until 2:30 in the morning just two weeks earlier, so the five-hour meeting that resulted in the decision wasn't the first of its kind. Supervisors T.C. Collins and Cathy Binder opposed various development features, but overall clearance was granted.

The prospective tax income for King George County was a significant rationale for the rezoning and data center development. Payne estimates $17 million in annual real estate and technology taxes per million sq ft of data center space for the county. The new state grant fund, the Cloud Computing Cluster Infrastructure Fund, may change this.

The fund reimburses enterprises for creating infrastructure, including fiber, water, and personnel recruiting and training. The locality contributes $2 for every $1 the state provides.

Payne claimed that data center revenue would cover this, and local taxpayers wouldn't be affected. King George County's financial conclusion was uncertain, although Payne, a financial advisor, and a state official said it "should" be favorable.