Demolition is underway at the 43-acre site of the former AOL headquarters in Sterling to make space for a new data center from PowerHouse Data Centers.
The demolition started with a campus parking garage.
PowerHouse Data Centers, a subsidiary of American Real Estate Partners, plans to establish a new “hyperscale-sized powered shell campus” called PowerHouse Pacific, according to a news release. The plans will establish three new buildings totaling 1.2 million square feet, plus a new power substation.
The site on Pacific Boulevard played an important role in early internet development as the home to internet provider AOL, which helped popularize everyday use of the internet in the 1990s. The company moved its headquarters to New York City in 2007 and later sold to Verizon for $4.4 billion in 2015.
“It’s exciting to see this underutilized site with such a historical connection to the early internet evolve to be part of the future internet,” said Luke Kipfer, the vice president of data center development and construction at American Real Estate Partners.
The company expects demolition to be complete in early 2024. The power substation will be constructed in summer 2024 in partnership with Dominion Energy, then construction will begin on the first of the three new buildings in fall 2024 with completion expected in mid-2026.
AREP and investor Harrison Street purchased the site for $136 million in December 2021 from sellers Yahoo Inc. and Oath, the umbrella company that operated both Yahoo and AOL after Verizon purchased each company, The Washington Business Journal reports.
The former AOL headquarters site consisted of three office buildings, a mail hub, two parking structures, and a “long-defunct” pedestrian bridge over Pacific Boulevard. Materials such as ceilings, floors, and pipes were removed from the site before demolition, and recyclable materials were sent for reprocessing.
PowerHouse donated usable furniture, including kitchen equipment, which went to the Dulles South Soup Kitchen. Concrete will be processed for reuse at the site in an effort to reduce waste.
“Repurposing and transforming this site to operate at its highest and best use aligns with our sustainability commitment and positively affects how we all live, work, and play,” Kipfer said.
Feature image courtesy PowerHouse Data Centers
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