Maryland Commerce, Frederick County Announce Purchase of Former Alcoa Eastalco Site
Quantum Loophole to develop innovative master planned data centers on site
BALTIMORE, MD (June 28, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Commerce today joined with Frederick County to announce the purchase of the former 2,100-acre Alcoa Eastalco Works site near Buckeystown. Quantum Loophole Inc., in a strategic joint venture with TPG Real Estate Partners (TREP), recently closed on the land purchase and is planning to develop a first-of-its-kind environmentally friendly data center campus, as Maryland continues to attract more data center companies.
“The Quantum Loophole team has made it possible to bring this first-of-its-kind master planned data center development to Frederick, Maryland,” said Josh Snowhorn, founder and CEO of Quantum Loophole. “The Eastalco property is ready and ideal for a data center project. We are changing the way hyperscale data center developments are deployed, and this Maryland location has historically reliable power and proximity to Northern Virginia that the Internet industry needs for success.”
“Demand for cloud computing and cloud-based services has grown rapidly over the past decade and Frederick County is an important growth outlet for the Northern Virginia data center market,” said Ty Newell, managing director at TREP. “With industrial zoning and access to significant power capacity, the development site will offer several benefits to a fast-growing hyperscale tenant base that is intensely focused on speed of delivery. We are pleased to partner with the team at Quantum Loophole and look forward to executing on our shared vision for an innovative and sustainable development that will deliver enduring value to the local community.”
Last year, in an effort to be more competitive in attracting data center projects, Maryland passed the Data Center Maryland Sales and Use Tax Exemption Incentive Program. The program, which took effect July 1, 2020, offers data centers that locate or expand in Maryland and create new full-time positions an exemption for up to 10 years from the state sales and use tax on the purchase of qualified data center personal property. Even with the incentives, data center investments will bring notable new tax revenues for local budgets and opportunities for local businesses.
“It is outstanding news that this site, on which aluminum was manufactured for more than 35 years, will get new life as the home of a state-of-the-art data center development,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “As Maryland welcomes more and more data centers, this project is critical in ensuring these companies have the kind of advanced infrastructure needed to be successful as well as secure.”
Quantum Loophole and TREP are committed to developing the master planned data center in a way that enables the most advanced computing technology, benefits local communities, and respects the local environment. The project plan includes efficient design for sustainable power and water use, investments in robust fiber connectivity, and a thoughtful, nature-first aesthetic to protect views and reduce visibility from public roadways while also preserving existing structures important to local history.
“This is big news for Frederick County! I am pleased that the former Eastalco property will once again serve as an employment center with high-paying jobs,” Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said. “Quantum Loophole has committed to develop an environmentally sensitive data center project that respects and values the surrounding community and our Livable Frederick Master Plan. Data centers provide a stable source of tax revenue and jobs, while having minimal impact on local services such as schools, traffic and other infrastructure. I look forward to Quantum Loophole sharing their plans with the surrounding community.”
“The Maryland Commerce team worked closely with our state agency partners and Frederick County to bring this project home, and we are very excited about the tremendous potential for growth and jobs that this new development will bring,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We have placed a priority on attracting data centers to our state, and Quantum Loophole’s plans for this site are a tremendous complement to our efforts.”
“When Alcoa closed the Eastalco site, we made a commitment to bring this property back into productive and sustainable use,” said Mark Stiffler, Alcoa’s vice president for asset management. “The sale to Quantum Loophole and TREP is a story of economic and environmental sustainability, taking a former industrial site through the remediation process and bringing it forward for a new industrial use.”
To learn more about Quantum Loophole’s plans for re-imagining the way data centers are developed in concert with natural resources, visit: www.quantumloophole.com.