Developer Yondr Group has acquired 270 acres of land in Northern Virginia, and plans to build 500 megawatts of data center capacity across Loudoun and Prince William counties, the company said today.
With its big land buys, Yondr makes an emphatic entrance into the world’s largest data center market. Yondr is a new player on the U.S. data center scene, which last week announced plans to build $2 billion of hyperscale capacity across the Americas.
“With our Americas expansion plan in full swing, being strategically located in Northern Virginia will allow our clients to access the country’s largest data center corridor,” said Éanna Murphy, Senior Vice President of Operations, Americas at Yondr Group. “Our partnership with JK Land Holdings and support from both county governments will allow our clients to grow at scale in this metro.”
Yondr Group has acquired the land for its projects from JK Land Holdings, the real estate investment company headed by Chuck Kuhn, the founder and CEO of JK Moving Services. JK Land has been a leading player in the data center real estate scene in Loudoun County, and has recently been acquiring properties in Prince William. JK Moving recently has been expanding into data center logistics services.
“Demand for data centers continues to grow exponentially,” said Kuhn. “With our leadership in real estate acquisitions and Yondr’s expertise in developing state of the art data center facilities, we look forward to partnering to meet the nation’s growing big data and cloud needs.”
Making A Big Splash in the Biggest Cloud Market
Yondr Group was spun out of global construction company ISG (and parent company Cathexis) in 2019. Its leadership team is packed with veterans from Google. ISG and Equinix. A recent addition to the leadership team is CyrusOne alumni Laramie Dorris, who is Yondr’s VP of Design and Construction, Americas.
The company’s principals have built more than 500 megawatts of data center capacity since 2011, including 9 million square feet Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium. The company says speed and sustainability are the leading components in its expansion into the Americas.
That experience will come in handy as it enters the largest and most competitive data center market. Northern Virginia is home to more than 100 data centers and more than 10 million square feet of data center space. As the cloud grows, having servers in the region has become the table stakes for companies with ambitions in cloud computing. The region houses the largest cloud cluster for Amazon Web Services, as well as major operations for Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
The Northern Virginia market experienced record data center leasing in 2020, easily topping the prior record from 2018 as the COVID-19 pandemic created extraordinary demand. Data center developers are scrambling to add capacity, as all that leasing consumed much of the available supply of server space.
Virtually every major data center company has a presence in Northern Virginia. New providers continue to emerge, as the growth of the digital economy attracts investment dollars. In addition to Yondr, there’s TA Realty, which recently announced plans for a $1.8 billion, 300-megawatt data center campus near Leesburg. Another prospective newcomer is Quantum Loophole, which says it is preparing to create a “data center city” to serve the Northern Virginia market.
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Meanwhile, incumbent data center providers continue to build big in Northern Virginia, as Digital Realty, CloudHQ, Equinix, Vantage, Aligned, Cologix, Iron Mountain, NTT Global Data Centers Americas, Compass Datacenters, STACK Infrastructure and American Real Estate are all deploying more capacity.
“The pandemic year has demonstrated the need to demystify data centers as businesses, educational institutions and the entertainment industry went primarily remote,” said Buddy Rizer, Executive Director, Loudoun County Economic Development. “The full impact of data centers goes beyond the physical infrastructure.”
Aiming for New Capacity During 2022
Yondr Group aims to have its first capacity ready for service in late 2022, and said its new sites are “in close proximity to Northern Virginia’s major fiber path and power transmission lines.”
JK Land Holdings said it would disclose the locations of the land sold to Yondr “at a later date.” JK Holdings has been acquiring land for data center development in the Dulles Cloud Corridor along Route 50 in Arcola, not far from new data centers built by Google and AWS, which would provide ready access to major clouds. In Prince William, one possible destination for Yondr is the growing data center cluster near Manassas, where JK Moving has land in Manassas and Gainesville.
Yondr hasn’t announced other North American locations, but the company’s web site mentions future campuses in Houston and Toronto, as well as Sao Paulo, Brazil and Queretaro, Mexico.
“Northern Virginia is one of the many milestones Yondr is working towards as we expand in the United States, Canada and Latin America, as part of our global scaling strategy,” said Pete Jones, Chief Development Officer and Founder at Yondr Group. “With projects currently under development in London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Jakarta, Indonesia and in multiple cities in India, the addition of Northern Virginia reinforces Yondr’s commitment to deliver data centers across five continents by 2024.”