For years, Fairfax County had been lobbying to get global security company Northrop Grumman to move their corporate headquarters to Northern Virginia.
Friday, those efforts came to fruition as several politicians and community leaders gathered in Falls Church at the new headquarters at 2980 Fairview Park Dr. to officially open the 334,000 square feet building. Though the company has occupied the building since Aug. 22, they were officially welcomed under rainy skies Friday.
“We’re pleased to have them here,” said Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “Fairfax County already has a defense presence and Northrop Grumman is another jewel in that crown.”
Bulova joined Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), Congressmen Gerry Connolly (D-Congress 11th District, Va.) and Jim Moran (D-Congress 8th District, Va.) and Northrop Grumman Chairman, CEO and President Wes Bush to open the new headquarters. Bulova gifted Bush with a Fairfax County flag while McDonnell gave him an American flag that once flew above the capitol in Richmond. The new headquarters consolidates the Century City, Cali. and Rosslyn offices under one roof. This marks the first time the company’s human resources, general counsel, communications, business management and finance, government relations, corporate responsibility, and enterprise-shared services were in the same place. The selection of the Northern Virginia site was driven largely by facility considerations, proximity to customers and overall economics.
The fight for Northrop Grumman stretched beyond Virginia into Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Md. with each place rolling out extensive sales pitches and plans. Bulova said she was excited when it was announced in April 2010 that Northrop Grumman was relocating to Fairfax County.
“We were able to make a persuasive argument,” Bulova said. “It was clearly something Northrop Grumman found attractive.”
McDonnell said he had been in constant contact with Bush constantly during the courting period with Northrop Grumman. He said the move was huge and saw 300 new employees brought to Northern Virginia that average $200,000 in salary each. Luring the company to what McDonnell calls the “Silicon Dominion,” mocking California’s Silicon Valley, will help the commonwealth look more attractive to more businesses.
“This means there will be other businesses thinking of moving to this area,” McDonnell said. “We have the intellectual capital here to provide employees for this company.”
Bush said the move was big and was contingent on the county keeping promises they had made during the courting period. Bulova told Bush the county could offer an outstanding education system, a vibrant employee pool to hire from, a safe jurisdiction and a beautiful location.
“Everyone of those promises were kept,” Bush said. “If you think of moving a large corporation like Northrop Grumman you have to have confidence. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”