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Boeing moves to Arlington to bring technology hub vision closer to reality




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When Amazon announced that it would bring its second headquarters to Arlington, local officials quickly marketed it as an opportunity to make something bigger. They said this corner in northern Virginia could turn into a kind of dense urban technology hub. Eastern Outpost in Silicon Valley.

After more than three years, the vision no longer seems to be just an idea.

For boosters in the region, now known as National Landing, last week’s leaked announcement that Boeing will relocate its headquarters to Arlington is an innovation district in the region that was once known only as the Pentagon’s home. It shows that it is becoming.

Also, for economic development professionals, the aerospace giant from Chicago has focused on attracting businesses by growing and diversifying the state’s technical workforce. The success of Virginia’s economic development strategy. Is emphasized.

But if Boeing’s decision indicates that more companies are likely to come to the area soon, they say it’s also a sign of a warning. All the problems associated with the explosive growth of the Seattle or San Francisco Bay Area are very high home prices and chronically congested roads. In wealthy counties, which are already suffering from similar problems, the expanding rift between the rich and the poor can be even more serious.

Boeing relocates its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia.

Amy Liu, vice president of the Brookings Institution and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, said Boeing’s move to Arlington will add even greater premium to the work the region has been trying to build a digital talent pipeline. Said to call.

But we have to be very deliberate about those who will benefit from this growth, Liu added. If not, we intend to further increase inequality in the region.

In addition to Amazon’s new office, the National Landing Corridor is anchored around the graduate engineering campus that Virginia Tech is building in the Alexandria Potomac Yard district. The 3.5-acre facility is partially funded by $ 545 million from Virginia’s financial resources, in addition to $ 50 million from Boeing.

Weapons and jet manufacturers already have 400 offices in the Arlingtons Crystal City area, with plans to expand their footprint or move employees from Chicago, with the exception of a few top executives. He said it wouldn’t be soon.

Boeing’s move to Virginia means there are few new jobs in the DC area.

Boeing’s decision nevertheless gives the national landing the right to brag, said Terry Cluer, a public policy professor at George Mason University’s Shar School of Policy and Policy and director of the Center for Regional Analysis.

Boeing also states that it will build a research and technology hub focused on innovations in cybersecurity, quantum science, and other areas, but so far little has been about where or what the hub will look like. No details provided.

If you put it [Boeing] In addition to the announcement of Amazon HQ2 and the presence of employers in other key technology sectors, Clower said the location is the perfect fit for the tech business. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

The message is booming as local governments are trying to compete with other commercial centers in the Washington, DC region and other innovation districts in the northeast, such as Philadelphia University City and Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Perfectly in harmony with the vision. We are promoting national landing.

According to a market impact survey released in April, the region has 8 million square feet of new office space in its pipeline, with 9,000 new jobs in addition to those created by Amazon. AT & T has developed a plan to build a 5G network aimed at transforming neighboring areas into large-scale smart cities. “

But what that means for the whole region depends a lot on who you ask.

Boeing Field Amazon Jersey

Boeing has existed in Arlington since it signed a military contract during World War I, but the company crystallizes its defense efforts, just as the county faced a sort of existential crisis. Moved to the city.

As recommended by the Federal Trade Commission in 2005, 17,000 military and defense industry contractors have begun to move out of the region. By about 10 years later, a process known as Base Reorganization and Closure (BRAC) has emptied about one-fifth of nearby office space.

Boeing arrived at the current office of Longbridge Drive in 2016 and has since served as a kind of counterpoint to its escape.

Katie Kristol, D, President of Arlington County, states that they were fairly solid partners in Crystal City during very difficult times for the region. I was really worried about the hollowing out of Crystal City, but Boeing was happy to make an investment.

Unlike many neighbors in the suburbs, Arlington relies on commercial real estate for about half of its tax revenues. Retaining office workers is still essential to support county services without significant tax increases for homeowners.

Still, Kristol also pointed out that the contribution of the aerospace giant exceeded that tax. For example, in 2019, the company donated $ 10 million to the county to fund the construction and operation of a new aquatic center on the street, and prepaid access fees for active duty military personnel and their families.

Instead, county officials named part of the park space between the two structures after the aerospace company.

Boeing Field

On a long bridge


Boeing Field

On a long bridge


Boeing Field

At Long Bridge Park

Today, Longbridge Park’s Boeing Field is a hub for after-school activities. A youth travel soccer team drilled on the grass last Tuesday evening, while parents were looking sideways at a toddler in the future rubber floor.

49-year-old Noemi Vargas sat on a bench opposite Boeing’s glass and steel office, scrolling the phone and taking his sons to the scooter on the sidewalk.

The family had been walking from Pentagon City for years, but Vargas said he didn’t know that part of the park was named after the company.

The mother at home, Vargas, said in Spanish that if it were expensive now, it wouldn’t be possible with Boeing. Not everyone can stay in this area, but I think it’s good if they bring jobs.

A few yards away, Sebastian Edmonds is a soccer field bystander, chatting in his parents’ circle as his daughters’ travel team dribbles the ball up and down on a pitch named after Boeing. was doing. Half of the team wore gray jerseys with the Amazon logo on their backs.

As a real estate agent, Falls Church residents said they have already seen how the presence of e-retail giants has led to a surge in home prices in the heated real estate market in northern Virginia. As a parent, he added that the existence of these tech companies represents a greater opportunity for his children.

Edmonds said while looking at the scrimmage that it’s very easy to imagine a child entering technology with Amazon here. My daughter can say she goes to college and then back to work at Boeing.

Ask economic development officials in northern Virginia. Then they will share Edmans’ beliefs. Their plans to grow and develop a pipeline of young and diverse engineers are deeply intertwined with their impetus to attract companies to National Landing and turn it into a technology hub.

Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, executive director of the National Landing Business Improvement District, says you can’t have a technology company right now without talent. The labor market is very tight and there is fierce competition. Being close to the technician is essential to operation.

When Amazon released a national survey of its second headquarters in North America, states such as New York and Maryland provided billions of dollars in tax cuts and direct subsidies to tech giants who earned about $ 33.4 billion last year. Was accused of.

But Virginia believes that investing in and maintaining computer science graduates is more effective at seducing big names in Amazon and other major companies. I bet on.

And that seems to have worked. Amazon receives $ 550 million from state funding, but much of Virginia’s dollars go to the state’s $ 1 billion Tech Talent Investment Program. The initiative aims to generate an additional 25,000 new graduates in computer science and related fields for over 20 years, many at the Virginia Tex Alexandria campus.

Boeing spokesman Connor Greenwood said Boeing has not received financial incentives from Virginia. Governor Glenn Youngkin, spokeswoman for Becca Glover, said the state could ultimately provide some financial incentives to the company, but they are not important.

Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, is studying where and why companies do business, and the decision by both Amazon and Boeing to build headquarters in Arlington is such an education-centric. He said it was a precursor to the approach.

Although it does not directly mention why Boeing decided to relocate its headquarters to Arlington, the DC technical labor market is already large, well-educated and offers a variety of disciplines. Every effort to expand that pool can only help Moretti to produce what appears to be a clustering effect that works with Boeing movements.

Attracting companies like Amazon would make the labor market more attractive to future companies and future workers, he said.

Ian Duncan and Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.




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