Fairfax County E-Bird for August 6, 2019

Hi ho Silver, away: The Silver Line from Reston to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County will open on or about July 16, 2020, at least if everything goes according to plan from here on out, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said. This is the first time the authority announced a projected opening date for rail service on the six-station second phase of the Silver Line, which includes stations at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Station (Route 28) before the airport. Max Smith trained his eye on this story for WTOP.

Hot off the presses: New York-based New Media Investment Group, which runs the GateHouse chain of local community newspapers, announced it will acquire Tysons-based newspaper publisher Gannett for about $1.34 billion in cash and stock. The deal combines two of the largest newspaper companies, with Gannett publishing USA Today and dozens of news publications across the country and more than 160 papers in the United Kingdom. After the deal closes, New Media and GateHouse will operate under the Gannett brand, with the combined company headquartered in Tysons. Andy Medici delivered this story for the Washington Business Journal.

Billion-dollar baby: Tysons-based consulting firm Guidehouse bought Chicago-based Navigant Consulting in a $1.1 billion deal that will broaden the combined company’s reach in the public and private sectors. The buy marks a first acquisition for Guidehouse, which formed from a 2018 spinoff of PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ public-sector practice. The move is intended to expand Navigant offerings in the energy, financial services and health care markets, said CEO Scott McIntyre. Carten Cordell of the Washington Business Journal expands on the deal.

A big PERSPECTive: Chantilly-based Perspecta, a provider of government technology services, said on Thursday it paid $250 million to acquire Reston-based management-services provider Knight Point Systems. In a release picked up by the Potomac Tech Wire, Perspecta CEO Mac Curtis called the move “a great first acquisition that…strengthens our capability set.” Perspecta, which has about 14,000 employees, was formed by the 2018 merger of Tysons-based DXC Technology’s U.S. public sector business with Chantilly-based Vencore and Colorado-based KeyPoint Government Solutions.

All systems a go: Serco, a Herndon-based provider of management and technology services to government and military clients, announced its $225 million deal to acquire the Naval Systems unit of Tysons-based Alion Science & Technology. According to a Serco release picked up by the Potomac Tech Wire, the deal includes the unit’s Canadian business and a small number of related contract operations. The acquired business provides naval ship and submarine design, systems and engineering services, production support and in-service sustainment.

More power to you: CNBC reports that Electrify America, a subsidiary of Herndon-based Volkswagen Group of America, will work with fleet-charging firm Stable Auto to roll out robotic fast-charging systems for self-driving electric vehicles. The pilot would be based in San Francisco, with the charging site slated to open in early 2020. The goal of the trial is to charge autonomous electric vehicles without requiring “human intervention.” Electrify America, which has offices in Reston, will supply the chargers for the project.

 

The feeling is mutual: A plan to redevelop the headquarters of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association is underway. Approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission, the redevelopment plan will include the historic A. Smith Bowman Manor House. In addition to maintaining the manor house, which is on the county’s inventory of historic places, the developer also will incorporate new architectural elements. Reston Now builds on the story.

Model behavior: The Tysons Reporter notes the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering investing up to $1 million in the Tysons Partnership, which plans to implement a multiyear branding strategy and campaign for Tysons and establish a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association. The Partnership hopes to have the strategy development complete by December, so it can execute its new look and feel in 2020.

Doubling down: Jim Koons Automotive is moving ahead with plans nearly to double one of its Tysons car dealerships with a new showroom. The Washington Business Journal’s Alex Koma reports that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the expansion plans, clearing the way for a two-phase construction project at Koons Tysons Toyota on Leesburg Pike. Koons plans to convert a warehouse for vehicle storage and office space into what amounts to a new facility.

Expanding horizons: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a $372 million project to widen a 3.1-mile stretch of Richmond Highway between Jeff Todd Way and Sherwood Hall Lane. The Washington Business Journal says the project aims to increase capacity along the highway (U.S. Route 1) south of the Huntington Metro Station by widening the roadway from four to six lanes and reversing the median for a future bus system.

Nonstop action: Airline Geeks reports that Cabo Verde Airlines, the national flag carrier of the Cape Verde archipelago off the west coast of Africa, announced a network expansion that will include nonstop, three-times-a-week service to Washington Dulles International Airport.

Rise through the ranks: Virginia has been ranked #1 by Business Facilities Magazine for its initiatives in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business. Business Facilities recognized the Commonwealth for initiatives coming out of its Unmanned Systems Center at the Herndon-based Center for Innovative Technology (CIT). The top ranking comes after the center established a 24-member board of advisors to guide strategies within four domains of the UAS market: land, sea, air and space. Technical.ly DC hardly drones on in its story.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

  • As part of a potential seven-year, $242.2M contract, a unit of BAE Systems will engineer and integrate systems the Army uses to defend rotary and fixed-wing aircraft against missile threats. GovConWire
  • The Air Force selected Raytheon to develop two prototypes of a High Energy Laser Weapon System for experimental use under a $23.8M sole-source contract. GovConWire

Featured business events

  • August 14 — Small Talk to a Small Fortune – How to Network. Part of the Business Education Series presented by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Click here.
  • August 27 — NAIOP networking event. The event will include updates on Fairfax County, including development in Tysons around Capital One and the McLean Metro Station. Featuring Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Click here.
  • September 10 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. Presented by the FCEDA with its partners the Community Business Partnership, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, and the Fairfax County government. Click here.
  • September 11 — Intro to Selling to the Commonwealth—A Vendor’s Perspective. Part of the Business Education Series presented by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Click here.