A great sign: Volkswagen Group of America to keep HQ in Fairfax County

In a move exemplifying the continuing strength of Fairfax County as a corporate headquarters, and as a prime location choice for major international corporations, Volkswagen Group of America, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe, has chosen to retain its headquarters in Fairfax County.

“Northern Virginia has proven to be a great place to do business,” said Scott Keogh, chief executive officer and president of Volkswagen Group of America. “Volkswagen and Audi and our brands are on the forefront of mobility and sustainability in the automotive industry and we look forward to building on that innovation here for years to come.”

The company signed a new, 20-year lease agreement for 196,000 square feet as an anchor tenant in Boston Properties’ new 1.1 million square foot development in the next phase of development in the Reston Town Center.

Volkswagen Group of America has been a highly visible and active member of the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.-area business community since it selected Fairfax County for its North American headquarters in 2007. It leases multiple facilities in Northern Virginia for about 1,000 employees of the Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini brands and VW Credit. Expected to take place in late 2023, this move will consolidate those employees into one location, increasing workforce efficiencies and collaboration, the company said.

Volkswagen Group of America’s announcement will likely be among the largest leases in the D.C. metropolitan area, if not the nation, in second half of 2020, which is notable because of the current impact of the pandemic on office markets. Throughout the pandemic, business expansion and relocations have continued at a brisk pace in Fairfax County, including Microsoft’s announcement in May that it will establish a new software development and R&D regional hub in the Reston Town Center.

“This is great news that Volkswagen Group of America will maintain its headquarters here for many years to come,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “It is a vote of confidence in so many ways – in the business climate we have worked hard to create and maintain, in the assets that attract international companies, and in the quality of life that attracts people and keeps them here.”

Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, ranks no. 7 on the Fortune Global 500 with $282 billion in revenue in 2019 and more than 670,000 employees. It is one of the best-known worldwide brands and is one of more than 430 international businesses with a presence in Fairfax County.

“Volkswagen Group of America is truly the kind of employer that any community would love to have – great jobs, great corporate citizen – and indeed it could choose any headquarters location it wants, so we are honored that the firm has chosen Fairfax County and Northern Virginia – again – and will be an important part of our economic base for decades to come,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

“This speaks volumes about our value as a headquarters location and the ability to find and keep high-caliber talent, and joins announcements by Microsoft, Google and Facebook as important indicators of the strength of this business community, especially in a difficult period economically,” Hoskins added.

With this lease signing, the project in Boston Properties’ next phase of development is 85 percent pre-leased. Fannie Mae has also leased a large block of space in the same building, as part of a planned consolidation of its Northern Virginia footprint.

The under-construction building, located in the Reston Town Center mixed-used development, is part of a 1.1 million square foot office complex by Boston Properties. The new development will have in-building parking with provisions for 300 electric vehicle chargers, a conference center and direct access to the newly built Silver Line of Washington’s Metrorail. Volkswagen Group of America is working with Boston Properties on the features and design of the new space.

“We are thrilled that Volkswagen has chosen Reston Town Center for their North American headquarters,” added Peter Johnston, executive vice president, Washington, D.C. Region for Boston Properties. “Companies looking to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent continue to be drawn to Reston and Reston Town Center as the ideal location to grow their organizations.”

Construction of the next stage of development at Reston Town Center is well underway. Starting in 2023, Volkswagen Group of America will occupy space in the building on the left. (FCEDA photo)

Reston Town Center is an acclaimed urban center located in the heart of Northern Virginia and home to more than 3 million square feet of Class A office space, more than 50 retailers, 30 restaurants, and 2,000 residential homes.

The new extension of Reston Town Center includes a two tower, 1.1 million square foot office development, retail space, a hotel and residential buildings. It is located adjacent to the Reston Town Center Station on Metro’s Silver Line extension. At its completion, the full extension of Reston Town Center, being built in two phases, will add more than 4.4 million square feet to Reston Town Center, including over six acres of public open space.

Small business owners: please complete this Fed survey

Can small businesses weather the economic effects of COVID-19? The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance is partnering with the Federal Reserve on the 2020 Small Business Credit Survey. This survey reaches thousands of small businesses and provides vital information to policymakers who are weighing decisions that affect small businesses. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is open to businesses currently in operation, those recently closed and those about to launch. The questions ask about business conditions, financing needs, and the effects of the pandemic on business.

The survey highlights the experiences of small businesses and provides critical information that service providers, policymakers, and lenders use to improve programs for small business owners. All responses are confidential.

Click here to take this survey. It closes this Saturday, October 31.

Questions? Contact: RICFedSmallBusiness@mpls.frb.org

October 29, 2020