Open house Wednesday to discuss new King George data center project

by | Apr 17, 2024 | ALLFFP, Business, Government, King George

Potomac Development Group officials have kept a watchful eye on the saga playing out between Amazon Data Services and the King George County Board of Supervisors. 

That is because PDG is aiming to construct a data center campus on 500 acres off U.S. Route 301 just west of Naval Surface Facility Dahlgren. 

Amazon and the county are at an impasse in negotiations to build a data center campus in the Sealston area, as supervisors decided to scrap the performance agreement signed by a previous board in December. 

Nick Over, one of the principals with PDG, said King George’s administrative staff learned a lot from the Amazon controversy, and early conversations about the project called “Dahlgren West” have been productive.  

“We have been following that case,” Over said. “I’m not privy to all the details behind the scenes. We see it as a benefit for our project to [potentially] have them down the street. We are just keeping the eye on the ball of our process and our plan. But I think it helped the county to learn about the process and we are going to hopefully have a little bit of benefit from that.” 

PDG will hold a community open house Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the University of Mary Washington – Dahlgren Campus to give King George residents an early opportunity to express any concerns they may have about the project. 

Over said there will be poster board displays at the meeting on Wednesday, and officials will be on hand to explain graphics and share information regarding the plans of the Chantilly-based company.

Over said the goal is to collect feedback so that PDG can revise its plans if necessary. The developer aims to submit an application to the board of supervisors in the next 30 days. Over said he’s hopeful that if the application for rezoning is approved, site work can begin in 2025. 

“In everything we do, we want to be transparent,” Over said. “That is something I have heard loud and clear. We are listening.” 

The family of the late Ed Veazey owns the land, which is partially zoned industrial, commercial and agricultural. A portion of the land is designated a technology zone, which allows businesses to achieve incentives for meeting certain criteria. 

“Ed Veazey was a little bit ahead of his time,” Over said. “He had this property. He wanted it to be a technology zone and he even thought about data centers 10 years ago. He passed away since then, and we have been working with his son, Ted.” 

Over said the plans for the campus are not yet concrete, but he estimates there will be nine million square feet of buildings across 10 to 15 structures.  

One hangup for the Amazon project is the potential amount of water it will consume, but Over noted that the Dahlgren West project will be cooled by air conditioning. He said there is a 200,000-gallon water tower on the site ready to be used. 

“We like the site also because we can use the existing nature of the [topography] and the trees as a nice buffer,” Over said. “The power lines run along the front of the entire portion of the property which is also ideal. It enables us to tap in at multiple locations for substations and we plan another 100 feet of existing buffer behind that.” 

Over said it is too early in the process to determine how much tax revenue will be generated by the project, but he added that it will be “significant.” 

He said PDG worked with the Veazey family for a while but wanted to wait until the new board was seated to begin the application process. He said the meeting Wednesday will be collaborative and will demonstrate that the company plans to be partners with the county. 

“I’ve done a lot of entitlement cases over the years, and I find that a collaborative, transparent approach is the best approach,” Over said. “We can get feedback. We can learn from the community by doing that.” 

Over said the project’s website is currently in its first phase, and there will be “significant additions” after the open house so that the company can “perfect our application.” 

Over said all applications and documents will be posted to the website, which is dahlgrenwest.com. PDG representatives can be emailed at [email protected]. 

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