QTS Data Centers: Protests continue at Manassas

Mar 02, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

In Northern Virginia, tensions are running high as locals continue to express their opposition to QTS’s proposals for a new data center campus in Prince William County. Although previously locals cited a number of reasons for opposition, including environmental concerns and a desire to preserve what some call a “sacred battlefield,” this new wave comes as the company announces interest in acquiring an 800-acre site located on Pageland Lane. This is part of a larger, controversial proposal to rezone more than 2,100-acres in the area.

Subsequently, last week, around 50 protestors gathered outside the company’s facility near George Mason University’s Science and Technology Campus to vocalize their disagreement with the company’s proposals. Together protestors chanted and carried signs that read “stay out of the rural crescent” and “save our sacred battlefield.” 

Speaking about its interest in the site on Pageland Lane, a QTS spokesperson wrote in a statement to Prince William Times: “QTS has been approached and is seeking to acquire land as part of the Prince William County Digital Gateway project.”

Protestors at the demonstration

Further to this, the statement called the project a “unique opportunity” to play a role in what it said, “could be the most significant economic development initiative in the county’s history.” Adding: “QTS has a strong track record of being a considerate, supportive and sustainable neighbor and is committed to a thoughtful development strategy that will preserve the historical significance and aesthetic beauty of the area.”

According to Christina Winn, executive director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development, the company’s proposed development is likely to create over 1,000 permanent and temporary jobs over the next two decades, with between $4.9 and $7.5 billion in capital investment. Winn went on to say that the Department of Economic Development is “always interested in projects that will bring new highly skilled jobs and significant capital investment to expand the county’s commercial tax base.” Local residents, however, are not convinced. Protestor Elena Schlossberg expressed her thoughts on this, saying: “We don’t have to sacrifice hallowed ground and the Occoquan River watershed for good economic development.”

According to reports, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors will vote on the PW Digital Gateway CPA May.

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