It was perhaps perfect timing that Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer received the honor of being named a 2018 Tech Titan by a Washington publication at the same time news was breaking about a real estate purchase in Loudoun County by tech giant Microsoft.
According to a report in the Washington Business Journal, Microsoft paid nearly $73 million this week for about 332 acres in the Compass Creek development south of Leesburg. Compass Creek already has a Walmart and the Ion International Training Center — for hockey and figure skating — being built.
LED confirmed the Microsoft investment, but could not offer any details.
“I’m very excited that Microsoft has made this commitment to Loudoun County,” Rizer said. “Loudoun continues to evolve as a technology location, and I’m very confident this will be a very successful campus for the future of one of the world’s great companies.”
Rizer joins Microsoft and other technology leaders like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Uber on Washingtonian magazine’s 2018 Tech Titan list. The magazine included Rizer in what it’s calling “our guide to the most important and innovative people in Washington’s digital economy.”
Other Loudoun leaders on the 2018 list include cybersecurity firm Cofense cofounders Rohyt Belani and Aaron Higbee.
“Loudoun is called ‘Data Center Alley’ in part because Rizer has worked hard to make his suburban county a hotbed for data centers,” Washingtonian reporter Joe Guinto said. “Some 70 percent of all global internet traffic now flows through the area, and data centers across Virginia create an estimated $10.2 billion in annual economic output.”
In its introduction to 2018’s top tech leaders, Washingtonian magazine noted that the DMV’s tech industry “is growing at a blazing clip. That may make this year’s group of Tech Titans the most innovative, most important, and most influential we’ve ever assembled.”
The news also came on the heals of an announcement that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees Washington- Dulles International Airport, approved the sale of 424 unused acres at Dulles to Digital Realty Trust. The land will be used to construct more data centers, another example of LED’s success in attracting technology companies to Loudoun.
“It’s extremely humbling to have been named alongside leaders from the world’s global tech giants” Rizer said of the magazine recognition, “I’m very proud of the way that Loudoun has evolved into one of the most important technology locations in the U.S.”
The Dulles Airport deal is expected to help Loudoun residents in two ways. First, the capital raised will help with airport expansion projects and help keep ticket prices low. Also, like the other huge capital investments in data centers, it help Loudoun County residents through an increase in the county’s tax base.