New Boston Fund begins work on office/industrial complex for Rockwell Collins

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Print this page By Paula C. Squires

New Boston Fund Inc. broke ground Wednesday on an office/industrial complex in Loudoun County. The Boston-based private real estate investment and development firm is building a 178,200-square-foot regional headquarters for Rockwell Collins.

Rockwell, a major player in communication and aviation electronics solutions, already occupies several offices in Sterling and plans to consolidate its operations.  The build-to-suit project at TransDulles will provide not only offices but laboratory and assembly space for Rockwell’s flight simulators. By the time the complex is finished in October 2011, nearly 500 people are expected to work there.

“While this is a build-to-suit development involving the traditional roles of landlord, tenant and county, this transaction can be described more accurately as a partnership because it has been the tremendous cooperation of Rockwell Collins and Loudoun County with New Boston Fund that has made this project possible,” said Patrick Shooltz, regional director for New Boston’s Arlington office. 

Shooltz said during an interview that teams from both Rockwell and New Boston sat down and defined the project’s goal within a budget that works for both sides.  “What made them such a joy to work with is that they understand business — that everyone needs to underwrite a project economically to make it work.”

Shooltz said his company does not disclose project investment figures. 

He also praised Loudoun County for allowing New Boston to fast track an existing site plan, modifying its use from multiple mid-rise office buildings to a customized building for a specific client. “If we had been starting from scratch, it would have been a one-year process just in site planning. We got it done in three months: the site plan, necessary public works agreements, the bond and the grading permit that allows us to get out and move dirt. I give them a lot of credit.” 

Rockwell signed a long-term lease for the project located in Sterling, about five minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport.  The company, based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, serves government and commercial customers. It employs 20,000 people worldwide and in 2009 had annual sales of $4.4 billion. 

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