The project to extend Shellhorn Road as an alternative for commuters on Rt. 7 or the Dulles Greenway moved ahead Sept. 3 with a unanimous county Board of Supervisors vote to buy 25 acres in data center alley for $17.7
The county will buy the land from Sentinel Data Centers, just north of Dulles Airport. It is also land where the zoning would allow data centers—land that can fetch upwards of a million dollars an acre.
That land, north of the Greenway between Loudoun County Parkway and Lockridge Road, will be used to construct parts of Shellhorn Road, Barrister Street, Prentice Drive, and Lockridge Road. The agreed-upon purchase price is below budget for Shellhorn and Prentice Drive.
“In 2015, when I was running for the board, there was a blog post by a former member of the Board of Supervisors who said the Shellhorn Road project could never get done because of the land acquisitions,” Meyer said.
The land will move the county closer to connecting Shellhorn Road from Loudoun County Parkway to the Loudoun Gateway Metro stop, however more land will still be needed.
Much of that, in fact, will be built by the developer of Silver District West, Detroit-based Soave Enterprises, the developer of Brambleton. Supervisors approved the 158-acre Silver District West proposal in March, including up to 381 townhouses and 3,325 apartments and more than a million square feet of commercial development. Through a proffer agreement in that project, Soave will take on building most of Shellhorn Road, Barrister Street, and a portion of Lockridge Road planned across the Sentinel Data Centers property.
“It’s a major, major step forward,” Meyer said.