Corscale Launches its Data Center Platform with Northern Virginia Campus

Feb. 22, 2022
Corscale Data Centers is entering the Northern Virginia data center market with big ambitions and a big campus. Gainesville Crossing will be a 300-megawatt, 2.3 million square foot project in Prince William County. Here’s a closer look at Corscale and its development plans.

As it launches its first development today, Corscale Data Centers arrives on the Northern Virginia scene with big ambitions, along with big campuses and data centers. Perhaps most importantly, the new company enters the market with an experienced team and well-heeled financial backers.

Corscale is a new data center development platform created by the Patrinely Group together with its capital partner, USAA Real Estate. The company’s first project is Gainesville Crossing, a 300-megawatt development in Prince William County that will feature five data centers optimized for hyperscale clients.

The Gainesville project is the first of two campuses planned for Northern Virginia, to be followed by a 72-megawatt data center in the Kincora development in Sterling, just a short fiber run from Data Center Alley in Ashburn. Corscale also is acquiring land in other leading markets.

“This launch of Corscale’s Northern Virginia data center campus is a testament to our vision to develop a global portfolio of sustainable data centers,” said Stuart Levinsky, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Corscale. “It will be one of the largest data center developments in Prince William County to launch in 2022.”

Although Corscale is new to the data center industry, Patrinely Group and USAA Real Estate have been developing joint projects for 35 years, and say they have “the capital and global footprint to deliver any scale data center, anywhere in the world.” Between them, the two firms have $50 billion in assets under management or development.

“They’ve been focusing on technology-driven real estate assets, and done projects all over the country,” said Levinsky. “About two years ago they started taking a really close look at the data center space, and made the decision to invest in and develop data center properties.”

Optimized for Hyperscale Customers

Like many of the new platforms in the data center industry, Corscale is focused on hyperscale customers – the very largest cloud computing and social networking companies, who are the driving force in the wholesale data center market. That’s why Corscale is leading with large footprints and an emphasis on sustainability.

“From day one, the product has been hyperscale focused,” said Nic Bustamante, Senior Vice President of Development for Corscale. “Corscale is focused on implementing industry leading de-carbonization and sustainability initiatives. We want to ensure that as stewards of critical natural resources, we enable our client’s own goals through real-time energy transparency.”

Bustamante has previously been a key player in infrastructure teams at Apple, Google and Microsoft. That experience matters in building hyperscale data centers.

“We think we have unique insights,” said Bustamante. “Many of us (on the Corscale team) have been that hyperscale customer.”

Corscale is coming to market with two products:

  • Corbuild is a built-to-suit offering for requirements of 36 megawatts or larger, with Corscale developing a powered shell or other dedicated facility.  “Corbuild is a fully collaborative effort where we sit down with a customer, look at their design, and work with them from an engineering perspective to come up with a completely transparent way of building these hyperscale centers,” said Levinsky.
  • Corflex is a modular wholesale design featuring large data halls, creating options for multiple tenants or a phased deployment by a large customer.

“There are subtle differences among the hyperscalers’ preferred design, from an electrical lineup,” said Levinsky. “We want to have the flexibility to have multiple halls in the same shell that may use slightly different electrical lineups or slightly different approaches to delivering power to the floor, but without getting into radical customization.”

Leading With Sustainability

A key emphasis will be sustainability, including creative options for renewable energy, which could include working with tenants on power purchase agreements (PPAs) on-site generation.

“We would argue that to play at this level, especially in the hyperscale market, you’ve got to be able to undertake some of these energy projects,” said Bustamante. “PPAs are really the beginning of that, along with alternative energy sources, whether that’s on site or off site. We’ll look at all of those things for our users.”

Energy is an area where Corscale’s future projects can benefit from the experience and relationships of the Patrinely Group, which has developed office projects for some of the largest energy companies in the world, including Anadarko, BP, CPS Energy, Halliburton and Tesoro.

“We can do some really unique things to on the energy side, whether it’s actual energy procurement or infrastructure development,” said Bustamante. “We can marry up some really creative things. For users like hyperscalers, who are so focused on emissions and deep decarbonization, we can build some really cool projects for them alongside the data center.”

An illustration of a two-story Corscale data center building planned for Gainesville Crossing. (Image: Corscale)

At Gainesville Crossing, the first 72-megawatt data center is a speculative build, with leasing underway to line up an anchor tenant yet in place. The first phase is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of this year, featuring a two-story building with 8 data halls and office space totaling approximately 483,000 square feet. Corgan Associates is the architect for the project and HITT Contracting is the general contractor.

A 2.3 Million Square Foot Campus

The total buildout for the campus is planned for 2.3 million square feet over five buildings and 306MW of utility power. A Dominion Energy on-site substation will deliver power and support densities beyond 300 watts per square foot. The design is expected to feature air cooled chillers, which support operating with very low water usage.

Corscale is also building a data center at Kincora, a mixed-use development in Sterling, about 3 miles from the Equinix campus that serves as the focal point of connectivity in Data Center Alley, the huge cloud cluster in Ashburn.

“They’re running out of (data center) property in that region,” said Levinsky. “That site will be ideal for a 72-megawatt campus, and we think it’s suited for a single customer.”

Levinsky acknowledged the influx of new players in Northern Virginia, but noted that the Northern Virginia market has long been a competitive market with a history of supporting new players.

“The rising tide has floated a lot of boats in that market,” he said. “We’re just we’re building where our customers want to be.”

About the Author

Rich Miller

I write about the places where the Internet lives, telling the story of data centers and the people who build them. I founded Data Center Knowledge, the data center industry's leading news site. Now I'm exploring the future of cloud computing at Data Center Frontier.

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