Data Centers Approved at Former WorldCom Campus

The Board of Supervisors has approved plans for up to 2.6 million square feet of data center development on the former WorldCom campus at the intersection of Waxpool Road and Loudoun County Parkway.

In 1998, the Board of Supervisors approved plans for the WorldCom Northern Virginia Campus, a 530-acre office park with up to 7.5 million square feet of office and hotel development.

But that office park never fully materialized. Shortly thereafter, WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers began using fraudulent accounting to disguise the company’s slumping earnings as the telecommunications industry declined, and in 2002, internal auditors revealed $3.8 billion worth of fraud. That same year, the company filed for bankruptcy, the largest accounting fraud in history until Bernard Madoff’s 2008 scandal.

Since then, WorldCom became MCI, which was then purchased by Verizon Communications. Today, it is known as Verizon Business, headquartered in Ashburn, and acres of what would have been the WorldCom campus are still undeveloped, while others have been parceled off.

The application, by land holder Zebra Ventures LLC, a DuPont family venture, plans to build four data centers on 61 vacant acres, across Loudoun County Parkway from another data center campus and a half-mile from the nearest residential development.

The application also comes with approximately $14,700 more for roads than if the parcel were developed under the WorldCom zoning, up to $834,000 in total.

Supervisors voted 8-0-1, with Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) absent, to approve the application.

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