Prince William County, one of Northern Virginia’s most in-demand data center locations, has announced it has surpassed 3 million square feet of data center space. This milestone was achieved by the successful completion of 27 economic development projects that provide a combined total of more than $5 billion in capital investment and brought approximately 800 new highly-paid and highly-skilled jobs to the County.

The worldwide demand to be increasingly more inter-connected, along with its prominent East Coast location, has given rise to Prince William County’s emergence as a formidable data center location in the Greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and the nation. The County’s ability to expedite mission-critical projects with often narrow time-to-market requirements also provides international and national enterprises significant competitive advantages.

Located just 20 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., Prince William County is nestled in one of the densest clusters of fiber in the United States and is the logical solution for Fortune 500 companies, the federal government and international players in information technology, in light of dwindling land opportunities elsewhere in the region.

According to Compu Dynamics, Prince William County is the next logical landing point for a data center developer, by combining redundant power supply - access to multiple fiber providers; low latency connectivity to major markets (less than one millisecond away from key connectivity points, such as the Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®)); the lowest computer taxes in Northern Virginia; a highly educated workforce; speed-to-market and expedited facility development at a lower price point than competing areas.

“Data centers are big business, both worldwide and here in Virginia and have a large overall economic impact, which yield significant capital investment and highly-skilled, high-paying jobs to Prince William County. This is a very important milestone for the County and it clearly demonstrates our unique value proposition is in-play,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Data centers have not only created 800 high-value jobs that provide economic prosperity for our citizens, but trigger a follow-on economic impact to construction and other service-orientated labor markets.”

“We’re delighted to have surpassed the 3 million square foot data center space threshold,” said Jeffrey Kaczmarek, executive director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “Prince William County is an established data center market, so what we are seeing now is merely a matter of statistics finally catching up with reality. By some estimates, Prince William County now accounts for 27% of the Northern Virginia data center market. We have ample room for growth and are excited by the prospects and possibilities that lay ahead.”

According to the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s recent study on The Economic and Fiscal Contribution that Data Centers Make to Virginia, Northern Virginia is home to the largest concentration of private sector data center employment and locations in Virginia, and one of the largest in the U.S. In addition, according to JLL, demand for data center space in the region is expected to exceed last year’s by more than 30% reports WTOP.

Further, the NVTC’s study shows data centers are a critical part of the infrastructure that supports the modern economy, not only in the technology sector, but in advanced manufacturing, entertainment, finance, health care, information, retail, telecommunications, and almost every other sector of the economy.

The fiscal benefit of data centers to Prince William County was valued at approximately $11.5 million in 2014. The growing data center market advances Prince William County’s plans to diversify its growing economic base. It is estimated that the local data center industry yields approximately $4.30 in tax revenue to the County, for every dollar in County services it requires. Today, there are thirteen discrete data center facilities within the County. The County’s latest enterprise user, Iron Mountain, a Fortune 1000 company, recently announced that construction has begun on the first building of its 83-acre data center campus.

In May 2016, Prince William County further solidified its data center competiveness as the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District (DCOOD), designating 10,000 acres to support data center commercial interests, which harmonized the needs of both private property owners and industry requirements. As a result, multiple secure sites and buildings are made available offering virtually all of the advantages of other established markets.