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An Unexpected Driver of Our Region’s Commercial Market

When you visualize our region’s commercial real estate market, what do you see? Probably office space, office space, and more office space. After all, our local economy is primarily populated by government workers, professional services employees, and similar white collar professionals. However, over the last decade there has been a dark horse growing in our commercial market that opens up an alternative set of opportunities.

We first mentioned this driver when we discussed the possibility of Amazon building their HQ2 in our region. Laying out our perspective, we noted that our region holds a substantial amount of technical infrastructure. We have one of the country’s three largest Equinox exchanges, one of the country’s three major Internet hubs, and one of Amazon’s three national mega-caches. From the source we originally cited, our region is “increasingly carpeted with Amazon data caches and the wind and solar farms to power them.”

A Booming Local Industry

Amazon isn’t the only company building data centers in our region. Or, to be more accurate, they aren’t the only company converting regional commercial stock into data centers. Globe St. notes that “more than 1.4 million square feet of inventory has been converted to data centers since 2008” in our region. Nearly 300,000 square feet of inventory—or 2% of our total inventory—have been converted into data centers each year since 2015.

The trend is only accelerating. Just this month, BisNow reported that four major sites in Loudon County were purchased to be redeveloped into data centers. These four sites alone add up to over 550 acres. The county’s Economic Development Director stated that “demand is hotter than ever” for this market due to “a definite shortage of large parcels”.

A Wealth of Opportunities

BisNow explains this demand for regional data center development comes from large technology companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Reviewing this trend makes one point obvious. Regardless of whether or not Amazon, Apple, or any other tech giant builds a new headquarters in our region, it is clear that these unexpected enterprises will continue to produce tremendous opportunity by way of data center development. Contact us today to learn how you might capitalize on this opportunity. Call us at (202) 713-9072 or email us at