A company affiliated with US real estate firm Peterson is aiming to develop a massive data center campus outside Fredericksburg in Virginia’s Stafford County.

First reported by Potomac Local, Stafford Technology LC is aiming to rezone 524 acres on the east side of Richmond Highway within the Falmouth Election District to allow for data center development.

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– Stafford Technology LC | Stafford County

The aim, according to county documents, is to develop a “phased data center campus” close to Stafford Regional Airport which will contain approximately 5.5 million square feet (511,000 sqm) of data center buildings at full build-out. The site is currently greenfield woodland.

The project, known as the Stafford Technology Campus, would span more than 25 buildings of varying sizes and include at least one on-site substation, according to general development plans submitted by engineering firm Bohler.

Set to be built across five phases, the company said it expects more than $1.5 billion to be invested in the project. There is no mention of an end-user for the data centers in the documents.

Stafford County lies to the south of Prince William County and southeast of Fauquier County, on the Potomac River. It is not a county known for its data center developments, though in recent years has lowered taxes for data center equipment.

Stafford Technology is looking to amend the 2021 five-year update to the County’s 2016-2036 Comprehensive Plan to change the future land designation of the proposed site from Agricultural/Rural to a ‘Targeted Development Area’ that would allow for a land use designation of Business and Industry. The company is also requesting zoning reclassification from A-1, Agricultural Zoning District to M-1, Light Industrial Zoning District.

Stafford Technology’s listed address matches that of local real estate development firm Peterson Companies.

Peterson was previously developing the Northern Virginia Gateway close by on the opposite side of the I-95; a 1.9 million-square-foot warehousing development in a 270-acre industrial park. County Documents suggest Stafford Technology LC owns the Northern Virginia Gateway land and the proposed Technology campus land, as well as much of the surrounding area.

Founded in 1965, Peterson is a privately-owned developer of office, retail, industrial, self-storage, and residential properties. While not largely known for its data center developments, the company has previously partnered with Stack Infrastructure for a campus in Prince William County’s Manassas.

In January 2023, Potomac Local reported that an unnamed single firm aimed to build four data centers in multiple corners of Stafford County, including the Falmouth, Griffis-Widewater, and rural George Washington magisterial districts.

Stafford County is also considering creating a data center overlay district. The overlay zone – similar to Prince William County’s – would provide designated areas in the county where developers could build data centers by right without seeking a land rezoning.

The news comes following proposals for a new 2.9 million sq ft technology and data center park further south in neighboring Spotsylvania County.

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