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Henrico Becomes East Coast Communications Hub

Facebook Complex Under Construction
Facebook Complex Under Construction at Henrico's White Oak Technology Park. (Photo: Henrico County)

Henrico County is becoming one of the major communications hubs along the east coast and the board of supervisors heard a progress report earlier this week on two of the major projects that are putting it on the map.

Facebook’s project in White Oak Technology Park is huge

Anthony Romanello:  About 43 football fields under roof once it is completely built

Anthony Romanello is Executive Director of the Economic Development Authority says phase 1 is almost complete, phase 2 has broken ground:

Romanello: There is really a little city of activity because of the over 1200 people that are working there.

Facebook will spend 1.75 billion before it is over.

Romanello:  Yeah, everything is on schedule, they are moving forward very, very quickly.  One of the things we are going to review with the board which is really amazing about Facebook is just how quickly they moved.  I mean, they approached the county in early 2017.  The announcement was made in October 2017.  And here we are, two years later and they are almost completed with phase 1.  So they said they wanted to move quickly and they have absolutely lived up to their commitment to make this investment very quickly.  And we are just very excited to have Facebook here in Henrico.

And an overseas data cable to Europe and Africa is now in operation.

Romanello: There is no internet faster…in the world. You can take every movie ever made and ship it across those cables, ship it across the Atlantic in 42 seconds.

QTS has a connection point at White Oak that Romanello says is a magnet for more big data companies to come to the area.

Romanello:  We are now the best alternative to Loudon County and to the Ashburn area, where land values are well over a million dollars an acre, there is a substantial concentration of internet activity there.  What we have in Henrico County with the network access point is the opportunity for folks to make data center investments away from northern Virginia.  They are a good ways inland so there is not a lot of hurricane activity and it is just really prime for some additional development.  That’s why you are seeing the investment at QTS, that’s why you are seeing the investment at Facebook.  That’s why we are going to see additional investment in the park.


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