Amazon, Microsoft, Google, all to begin construction in Loudoun County

Atticus Sagilir, Staff Writer

Three tech giants will be expanding to Loudoun County in the coming weeks, say spokespeople of all three companies. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corporation, and Google LLC have all begun initial plans to expand into Loudoun County. The plan is to construct data centers in an effort to become more connected with the area.

These data centers have sprung up everywhere in the county in the past few years. Along sides of major highways like Route 7 and Route 50, there will be low, gray, simple buildings with unimaginable amounts of AC units on the roofs. These data centers receive a signal whenever an internet search is made, and they supply the search with the proper results. They have been built rapidly over the past few years because 70% of the world’s internet traffic runs through Loudoun County. Therefore, Loudoun has become a hotbed for tech companies’ expansions.

Both Google and and Amazon have bought land nearly adjacent from each other, only three miles apart. One of Google’s new properties is north of Route 50 in Dulles, within the Arcola Center. Google has also purchased another site near Leesburg, in the Stonewall Business Park. They have budgeted $70 million for a combined 148 acres between the two sites. Buddy Rizer, director of the Loudoun Department of Economic Development, believes Google’s substantial investment in Loudoun County proves what the opinion of Loudoun County is from non-residents: the leading internet hub in the world. Google’s Spokeswomen Liz Schwab said in a prepared statement, “We’ve purchased property in Northern Virginia to increase our capacity and meet the growing demand for Google’s services in the area.” Google has been planning this move for about a year, mainly because of the cautious approach that Virginia governor Ralph Northam took in negotiations for the land.

Rapidly-expanding tech company Amazon also got on the Loudoun bandwagon, announcing plans to expand into the county. The corporation based in Seattle, Washington has planned a 600,000 square foot data center just south of the Dulles International Airport, also north of Route 50. The site will be approximately 44 acres, considerably smaller than Google’s sites. Amazon is also considering Northern Virginia for its “HQ2” or second headquarters. Its preferred venues are all north of the Dulles Airport, and include The Hub development, a site meant for the newly-installed Metro Silver-Line. This planned headquarters will cost about $5 billion. D.C and Montgomery County are also being considered for the site of Amazon’s latest expansion.

Finally, Microsoft Corporation has made a massive purchase in Loudoun County, spending nearly $73 million for a 332-acre site, buying from Leesburg Commercial LLC. Their land sits next to the Dulles Toll Road, close to the Battlefield Parkway intersection. The property is fixed in between the Leesburg Executive Airport and the Village at Leesburg development. Unlike the other two companies, Microsoft has not stated its use for the land, but it is likely it will be used for more data centers. Rizer has made similar comments towards Microsoft, emphasizing that this purchase further boosts Loudoun’s reputation as home of the world’s largest internet providers.

All three companies have begun to utilize their land, but no timelines have been given for when construction will be finished, but the sales mean two things for the county: the revenue this year will see a massive increase, and Loudoun County has strengthened its case for being known as “Silicon Valley of the east.”

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