Roundup: Top Fairfax County economic development news for 2019
Fairfax County is the business hub of the Washington, D.C., area, and in the last year the FCEDA worked tirelessly to promote the assets and advantages that Fairfax County has for companies large and small, from the U.S. and abroad, for entrepreneurs and business owners from all backgrounds. Here’s a roundup of the top Fairfax County economic development news in 2019.
New Leadership: Victor Hoskins named president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
Victor Hoskins became FCEDA’s new president and chief executive officer in August. Previously Hoskins served as director of economic development for Arlington County, where he helped lead the successful regional effort to bring Amazon’s HQ2 to Northern Virginia. He previously served as deputy mayor of planning and economic development for the District of Columbia, where he was instrumental in the development of major sites in the District including City Center, the Wharf and Union Market. In Fairfax County he hit the ground running, especially emphasizing the necessity of talent retention, retraining, growth and attraction for businesses to grow and thrive. Read more here and watch video here.
Regional economic cooperation: Ten Virginia localities form Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance
Hoskins played a key role in spearheading the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA), an agreement announced in September that heralds unprecedented cooperation across jurisdictional borders to market and brand Northern Virginia outside of the region. The Alliance is comprised of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, and Prince William County Department of Economic Development. Read more here and watch video here.
Job growth: Google, Facebook, AWS lead roster of companies investing in Fairfax County
Reston-based Comstock announced in April that it leased 165,000 square feet of office space to Google as the anchor tenant at 1900 Reston Metro Place, above the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. Read more here and watch video here.
In July, the Washington Business Journal reported that Amazon Web Services signed a lease for about 270,000 square feet at 13820 Sunrise Valley Drive in Herndon.
The Washington Business Journal reported in October that Facebook reached a deal with Boston Properties to lease about 75,000 square feet of office space at 1818 Library Street in Reston Town Center.
Here are a few more of the many companies that established or expanded their presence in the county in 2019.
- TekSystems, 840 jobs
- EY, 481 jobs
- Aerotek, 413 jobs
- Randstad North America, 300 jobs
- FireEye, 300 jobs
- Zantech IT Services, Inc., 120 jobs
- OBXtek, 100 jobs
- Israeli Aerospace Industries, 50 jobs
- Aireon, 50 jobs
Life science innovation: Inova Schar Cancer Institute opens in Merrifield
Inova Health System ushered in a new level of medical treatment and patient care when the Inova Schar Cancer Institute opened to patients in May. The $150 million state-of-the-art center for care and research anchors the 117-acre Inova Center for Personalized Health campus in Merrifield, fulfilling a vision that began with the acquisition of the former Exxon Mobil headquarters site.
In September, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a new land-use plan for the Center for Personalized Health site that will allow Inova to incorporate more academic and research space at the campus and add complementary housing, retail and hotels. Read more here.
Regional Stats: Fairfax County again has 10 Fortune 500 headquarters
With the addition of Beacon Roofing, Fairfax County again has 10 Fortune 500 headquarters, Fortune magazine reported in May. The companies, representing a wide variety of industry sectors, highlight the fact that Fairfax County is the hub for corporate brands in the mid-Atlantic region and one of the top headquarters locations in the nation. In fact, Fairfax County is home to nearly two-thirds of the 16 companies from the Washington, D.C., region. Read more here.
The 2019 list includes these Fairfax County-based companies:
- Freddie Mac
- General Dynamics
- Capital One Financial
- Northrop Grumman
- DXC Technology
- Leidos Holdings
- Beacon Roofing
- Booz Allen Hamilton
More regional stats: Fairfax tops region in Inc. 5000 firms
Fairfax County is home to 116 companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 list announced in August. Fairfax County companies represent 37 percent of the 315 companies on the list from the Washington region, and are more than double the number from any other Washington-area county or city. Fairfax County’s businesses also account for 40 percent of Virginia’s 288 businesses appearing on this year’s list. Inc. magazine ranked Urgent.ly, a Tysons-based transportation and logistics company, as the 12th fastest-growing company in the nation and the highest-ranked company in the Washington area. Read more here and watch video here.
Yes, Virginia: The Commonwealth is the top state for business
CNBC recognized Virginia as America’s Top State for Business in 2019.In addition to considering 64 metrics in 10 categories, CNBC recognized Virginia’s ability to attract major businesses, including Amazon’s decision to locate its new headquarters in Northern Virginia, as reasons to place Virginia at the top of its rankings for the first time since 2011. Read more here.
Sense of place: Enhancing Fairfax County for companies, employees and residents
The landscape around Fairfax County continued to change dramatically in 2019 as county officials and developers focused on a walkable, urban mix of office, residential and retail spaces close to a Metro station. There is also a laser focus on amenities that will attract companies, employees, residents, shoppers and visitors — and enhance the county’s reputation as a great place to work, live, play and learn. Among the most prominent changes during the year:
- The Boro, a mixed-use development in Tysons, began to receive office tenants in January, the Rise and Bolden residential towers opened in September, and the area’s flagship Whole Foods Market opened in October.
- The next phase of Capital One’s headquarters campus got underway. Site work on another office tower began next to 470-foot-tall headquarters building that opened in 2018 and the Capital One Hall that is under construction and will include a 1,500-seat performing arts center and a Wegmans grocery store.
- Brookfield Properties broke ground in October on Halley Rise, a $1.4 billion, 36-acre mixed-use district in Reston that will include housing, office space, retail, an emphasis on green spaces and year-round cultural activations. A self-driving vehicle shuttle already is operating on the site.
- In October, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved The View, a mixed-use development next to the Spring Hill Metro Station in Tysons. It will include Icon Tower, which will top out at 600 feet and be the tallest building between Philadelphia and Charlotte.
Global reach: FCEDA touts Fairfax County to businesses in key markets
Fairfax County is the U.S. home to more than 430 companies from 49 nations. The FCEDA maintains marketing offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv.
The FCEDA presented many globally focused events in 2019. In February, the FCEDA took its message to four major cities in India (Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Delhi) to provide information about U.S.-India trade and investment, and provide introductions to Fairfax County’s ability to serve as a landing spot for emerging technology companies.
In April, FCEDA Korea and SelectUSA partnered to host an event at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Korea to introduce Korean executives to Fairfax County’s technology ecosystem.
In May, the FCEDA sponsored the Israel-US Business Summit 2019, Israel’s largest conference for firms doing business in the U.S. The FCEDA Israel team attended the reception when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam visited Israel for a trade and investment trip in November.
In June, the FCEDA Los Angeles team and TechFire hosted an event at the Microsoft Center in Los Angeles, entitled: “The Future of Artificial Reality/Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality.” With a large concentration of AR/VR/MR companies located in Los Angeles, the FCEDA shared why so many emerging-technology companies choose Fairfax County as an east-coast base.
In September, FCEDA worked alongside the U.K. trade promotion company “Go to Market Global” in London. The company invited the FCEDA and other international trade experts to meet one-on-one with about 30 companies that expressed an interest in expanding to the U.S. market.
In November, the FCEDA India team spearheaded a road show in India to highlight successful firms in Fairfax County. Stops on this trip were Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.
Meantime, in the U.S., the FCEDA sponsored an event in February with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to celebrate United Airlines’ new service between Washington Dulles International Airport and Tel Aviv, Israel.
And in November, the FCEDA partnered with the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation and 22nd Century Technologies for a Procurement Academy forum that highlighted opportunities in government contracting for next-generation technology. The FCEDA’s Business Diversity and Entrepreneurship Division and International Division worked together on the event with BIRD.
Read more about FCEDA’s global presence here.