Company Culture

Alongside Boeing, here’s who else has followed Amazon to the DMV

Boeing's not the only one to jump on the DMV train. As it turns out, a number of companies have made NoVa their home over the past few years.

Boeing's Northern Virginia office.

(Photo courtesy of Boeing)

When tech giant Amazon decided that Arlington, Virginia would be home to its much-awaited HQ2, it probably wasn’t too concerned about others who might follow the trend.

But it turns out that Amazon isn’t the only one that’s decided to call the DMV home, even after hanging out elsewhere for a while. In fact, there are several companies that, Amazon-inspired or not, have relocated to DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia since 2018 (the jury’s still out on whether all the boxes are unpacked, though).

Here are eight times that the DMV has snatched an HQ from around the US and beyond:

Boeing (May 2022)

On Thursday, aerospace company Boeing announced (after the news was leaked) that the company would be relocating to Arlington from Chicago, Illinois. The choice follows the strong investment Boeing has already made in the area, so it was a bit of a no-brainer: Its government outpost is already located there, and it has been a strong investor in the Virginia Tech Innovation Center at National Landing. On top of the new HQ, the company also plans to build an R&D hub that will focus on cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, quantum and software and systems engineering.

Boeing said it will maintain a large presence in Chicago. At present, the company has over 140,000 employees.

“We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia,” said Boeing president and CEO Dave Calhoun in a statement. “The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent.”

Miltenyi Biotec (March 2022)

A few months ago, global biotech company Miltenyi Biotec announced that its new North American HQ would be located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The German company already had an office in the area with 170 employees but needed to expand to host the 130 employees it plans to add by year’s end. Its new space will help support new manufacturing, quality assurance and R&D capacity.

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Cloudpermit (September 2021)

Members of the Cloudpermit team in Reston. (Courtesy photo)

In September of 2021, Reston landed another noteworthy newb in software company Cloudpermit. The Finland company has additional offices in Toronto and Chicago but named NoVa its North American HQ largely thanks to the local tech talent. Cloudpermit develops e-permitting software for building departments within local governments.

“Virginia has the highest concentration of tech talent in the U.S. and thousands of tech companies have made Fairfax County home, so we are delighted to join this incredible and growing business hub,” said Jan Pawli, Cloudpermit’s CEO, in a statement.

SimilarWeb (August 2021)

Similarweb’s executive team at its IPO in May 2021. (Courtesy photo)

Just one month prior, digital intelligence agency Similarweb also announced plans for a Reston office. The company still has its US HQ in NYC, but it was a noteworthy move given the company’s reason for picking NoVa as its next locale. General manager of North America Donna Dror said Similarweb was drawn to the area by the talent, as well as the innovation and entrepreneurship growth that she’s noticed in Northern Virginia. This draw was also attributed to the area’s many data centers.

StarKist Tuna (June 2021)

StarKist’s staff in front of the custom StarKist mural in Reston. (Photo Credit: Anfon Ha)

In June of 2021, canned tuna chain StarKist Tuna announced that it would pay $3.6 million to relocate its HQ from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Reston. The new location boasts 24,000 square feet, with room for 70 employees, and officially opened in April of this year. It’s not quite a tech giant, but the company did hit $900 million in revenue in 2020.

Autonomous Therapeutics (October 2020)

New York biotech company Autonomous Therapeutics made Rockville, Maryland its new home in October of 2020. At the time, the company, which develops antiviral drugs to prevent respiratory pandemics, said it moved to be closer to the biotech industry.  The space it moved into was part of an Opportunity Zone in Montgomery County, which gives businesses incentives to attract investment in the area.

At the time, the company had 15 employees and planned to add over 50 engineers and scientists by the end of 2023.

Infrascale (August 2020)

Bounce back two months prior (I guess fall is the ideal time to relocate to Virginia? Maybe it’s the foliage), and a West Coast data company also moved over to Reston. Cloud-based data protection company Infrascale moved headquarters from Los Angeles to the DMV after some leadership changes at the company. New CEO Russell Reeder attributed the move to the talent pool, and he had plans to grow the team here.

ASGN (June 2020)

In June 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that ASGN Incorporated, a tech consulting firm, would be relocating from Calabasas, California to the Richmond, Virginia area. The company planned to bring 700 new jobs with it, investing $5 million in a new HQ building and $7.4 to expand operations in the area. The choice wasn’t a complete surprise: In 1995, ASGN subsidiary Apex Systems was founded in Richmond, growing to over 4,000 employees at the time.

Amazon (November 2018)

Amazon released a rendering of a planned “Forest Plaza” at HQ2. (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

After a long, long search, tech giant Amazon finally picked Arlington as the spot for its second headquarters in November of 2018. The company has hit a few milestones since then, including full permitting approval for its buildings and 5,000 new hires.

The build is also part of a larger redevelopment project known as National Landing. Developer JBG SMITH doesn’t want to stop at just Amazon, though. Vice president Jack Kelly told Technical.ly that it wants to house existing companies and bring new ones to the area (and it might be working, if you take a look at the moves above).

“How do we attract the next Amazon?” Kelly said. “How do we make sure that the people, at some point, will leave Amazon to start their own companies? How do we create that environment for them?”

Got a relocation that we missed? Let us know at dc@technical.ly.

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