Virginia church to be repurposed as data centre
Wed 11 Oct 2017
A religious organization’s property in Ashburn, Virginia will be sold as the site of a new data center, the church pastor announced.
Christian Fellowship Church Pastor Brian Bales informed church members that an agreement had been reached with an unnamed buyer in the data center industry, to purchase the church property sometime in the next six to eight months. The CFC, however, will not be required to move until 2020.
Rumors of the sale of the CFC property to a data center company first arose in July, when the church’s Board of Directors began looking into selling the property.
While the terms of the agreement were not released, Pastor Bales said in a letter to members that the offer is “unparalleled in Loudoun County history” and that proceeds will go toward the purchase of a new site for the church. The previous record for purchase of a data center site was the $1 million per acre paid by Equinix for the 34.5-acre expansion of its Loudoun County campus, and those close to the sale have confirmed that the CFC deal will mark a new high for data center real estate in the area.
The Christian Fellowship Church is a prime location for a data center campus, a 22-acre property neighboring the Equinix interconnection hub and the Digital Realty data center at Beaumeade Circle. It also includes a 200,000 square foot building currently used for worship and a school, along with sports fields and parking lots, which can easily be renovated for a data center facility.
The CFC deal comes at the right time for the church, as well. Recently, it announced a $5 million renovation plan for the current location, which can instead be channeled toward the construction of a new place of worship. It will also allow the church to clear an estimated $4.5 million in debt, while leaving enough money to purchase a new site, construct a new church, and manage the church’s needs for many years to come.
Additionally, as the pastor noted in the letter announcing the completion of the sale, choosing a new location will allow the church to move closer to the parishioners and the community, and further away from the data centers that are occupying more and more of the neighboring properties.
“Since we purchased the property over a decade ago, Loudoun County has changed. Our church has become more physically isolated,” the letter from the church stated, noting that this was a key part of the decision to sell the current property and relocate the church.