Massive data center project heads to planning commission

white oak tech park

The data centers would be built at 5900 Elko Road in Sandston’s White Oak Technology Park. (J. Elias O’Neal)

More details about a proposed data center complex in Sandston are coming to light as the code-named project is seeking Henrico County approval to get the 2.5 million-square-foot development rolling.

The county’s planning commission discussed “Project Echo” during its meeting Thursday evening, where the project’s developer, Delaware-based Scout Development, is seeking an exception to allow parts of the complex to exceed the 50-foot height limit to 100 feet.

As proposed, Project Echo would be a multi-phase development for an undisclosed user at 5900 Elko Road in White Oak Technology Park.

The first phase will consist of an H-shaped complex of two single-story, connected buildings totaling 1 million square feet. Documents on file with the county show three future buildings totaling 1.5 million square feet.

Once built out, the data center would span more than 328 acres of the tech park’s 1,500 acres.

The county economic development authority filed the application for Project Echo with the planning commission last month. It’s signed by EDA director Gary McLaren and is being engineered by Manassas-based Christopher Consultants, documents show.

The first phase would not exceed the 50-foot height limit set by the county in the tech park. But the three buildings in additional phases would rise to 100 feet and would approval from the Board of Supervisors following Thursday’s planning meeting.

No project timeline has been disclosed and county EDA members remain silent about the prospective user of the future facility.

White Oak is already home to at least one data center. QTS, a publicly traded data center operator, has a 1.5 million-square-foot campus on 210 acres on Technology Boulevard.

QTS said last month it is not involved with Project Echo.

Other tenants in the tech park include Hewlett Packard, Lumber Liquidators and Bank of America.

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Bruce Milam

This one will blow some minds when the user is disclosed. The face of the region will change dramatically