Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for September 29, 2020

The Skyline office buildings at 5201, 5203 and 5205 Leesburg Pike. (Google Maps photo courtesy of Bisnow)

Live-work trio: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an application to convert three 16-story office buildings, located at 5201, 5203 and 5205 Leesburg Pike, into up to 720 live-work units. The live-work concept allows tenants to choose whether to use the unit as a home, an office or a combination of the two. Each building is planned to have up to 240 live-work units, and one building has the option to be set aside as age-restricted live-work units, reported Bisnow.

Mission… technology: The Central Intelligence Agency, based in McLean, has launched CIA Labs, which will see its officers collaborate with private sector professionals, academic professionals and others to develop mission technology. CIA Labs will be part of the Federal Laboratory Consortium and will conduct research, development, testing and engineering for scientific and technological issues. The CIA is seeking participants from technology and technical fields, including other federal labs and academia, according to a CIA statement, reported Virginia Business.

Fostering innovation: Tysons-based MITRE has established the Center for Data-Driven Policy to provide evidence-based, objective and nonpartisan insights to government policymaking by leveraging its public-private partnerships, the operation of federally funded research and development centers, technical expertise, and the company’s labs and independent research programs. The center will collaborate with government, industry, universities, think tanks and non-profit organizations to develop actionable policy based on data insights and modeling and simulation, according to GovConWire.

GEO-INTeresting collaboration: Springfield-headquartered National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency‘s director of the commercial and business operations group David Gauthier said the agency plans to coordinate with industry on using nontraditional data sources for geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) efforts. Gauthier told SpaceNews in an interview that the NGA wants to leverage “anything that provides a location of activities, objects or events,” as well as approaches like radio-frequency mapping to address emerging GEOINT and analytics requirements.

Roadmap for returning to work: The Greater Washington Partnership has released its report “Capital COVID-19 Snapshot: Safe Return to Work,” which takes a comprehensive look at evolving employer worksite reopening plans conducted in partnership with public agencies and business organizations throughout the Washington, D.C., region. Along with the report findings, the partnership is also launching, with support from the Washington metro area’s transit operators, a Transit Tracker, providing real-time information on ridership trends and the social distancing carrying capacity of the region’s public transportation system. “Our partners are excited to help ensure a safe and timely return to work for all their employees. That is essential to opportunity and equity across the Capital Region economy,” said JB Holston, CEO of the Greater Washington Partnership. Mass Transit carried the release.

Topping the list: Tysons-based Capital One is now the biggest bank in the D.C.-area market by total deposits, according to new data released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Capital One, with more than $49 billion in local deposits, captured nearly 16 percent of the market as of June 30, overtaking banking giant Bank of America, which has $42 billion in deposits and a three percent market share. Capital One had $36.4 billion in local deposits in 2019, reported Washington Business Journal.

Bitcom strategy: Tysons-based MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor explained his reasoning for recently converting $425 million in the company’s cash holdings into Bitcoin. “We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” Saylor said in an interview with Bloomberg. He said he was concerned about the value of the dollar given the Federal Reserve’s recent policy announcement about inflation. Saylor said if interest rates rise in the future then he will not be wedded to Bitcoin. “We can liquidate it any day of the week, any hour of the day,” Saylor told Bloomberg.

Virtually schooling in the “new normal”: The St. James, the 450,000-square-foot facility in Springfield, which recently celebrated its second anniversary, plans to open several indoor areas for students from kindergarten through 12th grade to complete their school’s virtual learning in a monitored environment, while also participating in some extracurricular physical activities. Registration is available and will be open throughout the semester, but the total number of students permitted will be capped at 300 for social distancing purposes, according to the Washington Business Journal.

May I see your ID? Centreville-headquartered Perspecta has entered into a collaboration agreement with Fairfax-based NextgenID to develop an identity proofing system to remotely assess and verify the identity of individuals who apply for credentials to gain physical and network access to government facilities. “Our partnership with NextgenID will provide our federal customers with an innovative, yet fully compliant approach to identity management that maintains security while simplifying the process,” said Jeff Bohling, senior vice president and general manager of Perspecta’s defense group, reported ExecutiveGov.

Best companies for Latinas: Reston-based Fannie Mae, along with Hilton and PenFed Credit Union, both based in Tysons, were named among the “Top 50 Best Company for Latinas to Work” by LATINA Style magazine. The annual list evaluates corporations on issues that include Latina promotions, recruitment and retention, the increase in the number of Latina employees at the company, and veteran and military personnel programs, according to LATINA Style.

Hitching a ride on a rocket: Herndon and Seattle-based earth-monitoring company BlackSky launched two BlackSky satellites last month to hitch a ride to orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket deploying SpaceX’s latest batch of Starlink satellites. Within 58 hours of the launch, the commercial geospatial company’s two newest satellites — BlackSky Global-7 and BlackSky Global-8 — were already delivering imagery. “The idea that you can on-board or on-ramp new satellites and integrate them into your ground systems quickly is pretty important for national security,” said BlackSky Chief Technology Officer Scott Herman in a feature article in SpaceNews.

Longer leash: Reston-based SyncDog has partnered with Singapore-based Halodata, a data security distributor, to expand access to SyncDog’s mobile device security technology within Singapore and the Southeast Asian commercial market. “As we witness Singapore continuously demonstrate their commitment to combating cyber threats throughout various industries, SyncDog is eager to begin working with these organizations to secure their corporate networks from the growing number of mobile endpoint-threats,” said Brian Egenrieder, chief revenue officer at SyncDog, reported InsideNova.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Mitre won a $463 million contract from the Air Force to continue to serve as administrator of the National Security Engineering Center. Virginia Business

Alion Science and Technology Corp. scored an $87 million contract from the Navy to provide special projects and operational training support. citybizlist

MicroTech booked a $65 million contract to update information technology systems and software applications for the Government National Mortgage Association. ExecutiveBiz

Alion Science and Technology Corp. scored a $40 million contract from the Air Force to provide information technology and cybersecurity services. Virginia Business

Parsons received a nearly $40 million contract from the Air Force for 13 ground vehicles. Virginia Business

Amyx won five Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) J6 Enterprise Technology Services contracts to support the agency’s enterprise modernization. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

October 6 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Community Business Partnership (CBP), presents its free monthly workshop for individuals interested in starting a business in Fairfax County. Click here to register.

October 8 — Virtual Career Fair. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority presents a free The Hiring + Reskilling Virtual Career Fair for job-seekers of all backgrounds, especially those unemployed due to COVID-19. Participants will have the opportunity to interview with 15+ companies with thousands of positions and browse reskilling and upgrading educational programs. Click here to register.

October 15 — 2020 Staying Strong. The annual NAIOP Northern Virginia commercial real estate bus tour goes virtual with a focus on “outside the Beltway” markets in Fairfax and Loudoun counties such as Tysons, Merrifield, Reston, Herndon and Route 28. Click here to register.

Fairfax Leader

The latest issue of the Fairfax Leader is now online. Check it out to read recent news about the Fairfax County EDA’s activities, including quarterly jobs announcements, commercial real estate statistics, and profiles of two Fairfax County companies. Click here to read the 3rd Quarter edition of the Fairfax Leader.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Forward Virginia Phase 3 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County began the third phase of re-opening businesses on July 1. The Forward Virginia plan provides guidelines that all businesses must follow. Residents are still advised that they are “safer at home.” Click here to find out the updated guidelines.

Get business assistance: The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.