Thursday, September 6, 2007

VW to Herndon

Volkswagen of America is moving its U.S. headquarters to Herndon.
Volkswagen will relocate to Woodland Pointe, a Class A office building on the Dulles Toll Road, according to sources who asked not to be identified because of the confidential nature of the deal. The 184,834-square-foot building was completed this summer. Leasing representatives for both Tishman and Volkswagen declined to comment.
- The Washington Business Journal
This is a development for our region, as it brings an entirely new industry to the economic base already developed by government contracting and telecommunications. It is also a great win for Fairfax county, as the Washington Post explains.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) authorized incentives worth $6 million to lure Volkswagen, including a $1.5 million cash payment in the next year and $4.5 million over five years beginning in 2011. The company won't receive the grants until it meets benchmarks for employment and investing in the region. Fairfax County will spend at least $1.5 million to accelerate road and land projects to ease Volkswagen's move.
- The Washington Post

Meanwhile the office space market in Loudoun saw vacancy on the Rt. 7 corridor spike from 3.4% to 9.1% between 2005 and 2006, with Rt. 28 vacancy at 11.2% for 2006. (All data from the Northern Virginia Market Report Year End 2006 with 2007 Forecast by NAI KLNB) It would be interesting to find out why Volkswagen chose Herndon for its location in Northern Virginia, when one of their most successful dealerships is just a mile or two away, in Loudoun.

This win for Fairfax is great for the region and the state, but it only serves to emphasize the perspective the business community has of Loudoun as a bedroom community. While the Board of Supervisors has been talking about diversifying Loudoun's economic base, that base has withered on their watch. MCI is a shadow of its former self, AOL is declining, even FAA jobs in Leesburg are taking a huge hit.

The Loudoun County Economic Development Committee consists of Lori Waters (Chair), Jim Burton, Stephen J. Snow, Bruce E. Tulloch, and Scott K. York. The EDC is clearly aware of the vacancy rate and need for a diversified business base.

Yet in none of the EDC's meeting notes was there any indication that our elected representatives knew that the VW deal was in play.

It's time to change the team at the top. On November 6th, vote for a better Loudoun.

1 comment:

visioner said...
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