Honoree: Microsoft at Compass Creek

The majority of Compass Creek was sold to Microsoft.

Microsoft Corp. made headlines in September 2018 when the tech giant paid nearly $73 million — or roughly $220,000 an acre — for 333 acres in Leesburg. But for months before that, the deal had been shrouded in secrecy.

In late December 2017, Peterson Cos. entered into a confidential purchase and sale agreement with an unnamed buyer for the land at the south end of Compass Creek, a 550- acre parcel in Loudoun County that the developer had purchased almost two decades ago. Unbeknownst to Peterson, the interested prospect was Microsoft.

Of course, this was all contingent upon upholding a strict nondisclosure agreement, barring anyone involved from leaking details regarding the planned deal.

“It was extremely confidential, which is usually hard to do,” says Taylor Chess, Peterson’s president of development. “Especially with as many people as need to be involved with putting together the due diligence and final transaction. That’s something that’s very special about this deal.”


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