Defense titan Northrop Grumman has picked a Falls Church site for its corporate headquarters, ending months of speculation and a high-stakes bidding war that pitted Washington-area localities against each another.
Northrop announced in January it would relocate its corporate headquarters and roughly 300 high-paying jobs from Los Angeles to the Washington area. Northrop officials said then that they wanted the company's top brass to be closer to their federal government customers.
Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said she was "very pleased" Northrop had selected Falls Church for its corporate headquarters.
"We already have a large presence of Northrop Grumman facilities here in Fairfax, and we're happy to have the headquarters here as well," Bulova said.
Bulova said Northrop planned to move its California executives -- as well as some employees currently based in Arlington -- to an existing building at 2980 Fairview Park Drive, about a half-mile away from competitor General Dynamics.
Northrop employs roughly 40,000 Washington-area workers.
State and local officials from Maryland, Virginia and the District had attempted to woo the defense giant with multimillion-dollar incentive packages and tax breaks.
The competition was especially heated between Virginia and Maryland, where officials in 2009 had fought for Hilton Hotels, with Fairfax County winning.
Northrop officials in April announced Virginia -- the overwhelming favorite because of its business-friendly tax laws and Defense Department-heavy workforce -- would add another corporate jewel to its crown.
The competition then shifted to Fairfax and Arlington counties, Northern Virginia's two most affluent localities. Arlington is home to the Pentagon, the epicenter of Northrop's business.
But Fairfax beat out its much-smaller neighbor.
Bulova said the county offered only transportation infrastructure improvements -- no tax breaks or cash incentives -- to lure Northrop. She declined to provide specifics of those transportation improvements but said they were offered because residents also would benefit.
Northrop officials have said they planned to complete their move to the East Coast next year. The defense contractor is a Fortune 100 company and employs 120,000 people worldwide.