Fairfax County Business and Economic Development Milestones

An act of the Virginia General Assembly created the Fairfax County Industrial Development Authority on July 1, 1964. (The name changed in 1973 to the Economic Development Authority.) In 50 years, Fairfax County has been transformed from a suburban bedroom community into the economic engine of the Washington, D.C., area and Virginia. Along the way, the FCEDA has worked with more than 3,200 companies that have created 220,000 jobs and leased 70 million square feet of office space.

The last five decades are full of milestones that highlight the progression of Fairfax County into one of the most dynamic and diverse business locations in the world. Here is a selection of business and economic development milestones that represent the transition of the county into what Time magazine called “one of the great economic success stories of our time.”

60's — Community Building Blocks

  • 1964 Virginia General Assembly creates the Fairfax County Industrial Development Authority
  • 1964 Capital Beltway completed
  • 1964 George Mason College (part of the University of Virginia) locates campus in Fairfax
  • 1964 "New town" of Reston founded
  • 1966 Congress establishes Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts
  • 1967 Northern Virginia Community College opens campus in Annandale
  • 1968 Tysons Corner Center Opens

70's — Suburban Growth

  • 1971 Filene Center at Wolf Trap opens
  • 1972 George Mason University becomes independent
  • 1973 Industrial Development Authority becomes Economic Development Authority
  • 1976 "Blue Ribbon Commission" created by the Board of Supervisors endorses business attraction and retention program

80's — Rise of a Business Powerhouse

  • 1982 Interstate 66 opens between the Capital Beltway and Washington, D.C.
  • 1983 Fairfax County’s first Metrorail station opens -- Huntington on the Yellow Line
  • 1984 Dulles Toll Road opens
  • 1985 Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology established
  • 1985 Construction of Fairfax County Parkway begins
  • 1986 Metro extends Orange Line rail service to Falls Church area, Dunn Loring and Vienna
  • 1987 First Fortune 500 headquarters – Mobil Oil – opens in Fairfax County
  • 1988 United Airlines makes Washington Dulles International Airport one of four domestic hubs

  • 1989 Quantum Computer (soon to be called AOL) locates in Tysons Corner

90's — Technology is King

  • 1990 Freddie Mac consolidates headquarters in Fairfax County
  • 1991 General Dynamics moves headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 1992 Booz Allen moves headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 1992 Virginia Railway Express begins service to D.C., including five stations in Fairfax County
  • 1995 FCEDA creates its first World Wide Web page
  • 1997 NII launched as the international division of Reston-based Nextel
  • 1997 Metro extends Blue Line rail service to Fairfax County
  • 1997 FCEDA opens office in Tokyo, its first international location
  • 1998 Fairfax County hosts World Congress on Information Technology
  • 1998 FCEDA London office opens

00's — Economic Diversification

  • 2000 Capital One consolidates headquarters operations in Fairfax County
  • 2000 FCEDA Europe office opens in Frankfurt
  • 2001 Gannett relocates headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2001 The very first Apple Store opens at Tysons Corner Center
  • 2002 Fairfax County tops 100 million square feet of office space
  • 2003 National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center opens in Chantilly
  • 2004 FCEDA India office opens in Bangalore
  • 2004 FCEDA Israel office opens in Tel Aviv
  • 2005 FCEDA moves Asia office to Seoul
  • 2005 Fairfax County population tops 1 million
  • 2005 FCEDA honored as one of the Top 10 Economic Development Groups in the U.S.
  • 2006 FCEDA opens office in Palo Alto, Calif., its first U.S. location outside Fairfax County
  • 2006 Fairfax County companies lead nation in federal procurement dollars
  • 2006 Fairfax County's median income tops nation and $100,000 mark for first time
  • 2007 U.S. Department of Labor calls Fairfax County D.C.'s "private-sector job leader"
  • 2007 FCEDA presents the National Conference on the Creative Economy
  • 2007 Volkswagen Group of America relocates headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2007 Time magazine calls Fairfax County "one of the great economic success stories of our time"
  • 2008 CSC relocates headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2009 Hilton Worldwide relocates headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2009 SAIC relocates headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2009 Fairfax County is awarded the 2015 World Police and Fire Games
  • 2009 FCEDA presents "Transformation of Fairfax County" Conference
  • 2010 Fairfax County supervisors approve plan for an urbanized Tysons Corner
  • 2010 Northrop Grumman relocates headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2010 Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center opens at George Washington's Mount Vernon
  • 2011 FCEDA moves Europe office to Munich
  • 2011 FCEDA moves California office to Los Angeles
  • 2011 Bechtel relocates global operations headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2012 FCEDA presents America’s Aging Workforce Symposium
  • 2013 FCEDA opens Boston office
  • 2014 Intelsat relocates North American headquarters to Fairfax County
  • 2014 Metro begins Silver Line rail service in Fairfax County

  • 2014 Board of Supervisors issues resolution congratulating the FCEDA for 50 years of success