Reports The Big Book

A tech play

Major technology companies are expanding in Virginia

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Print this page by Paula C. Squires
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Facebook plans to build a $1 billion data center in
Henrico County. Rendering courtesy Facebook

Facebook. Amazon. Google. Those big-name technology companies are putting operations in Virginia. And everyone is buzzing about Northern Virginia making the final cut as one of 20 sites for Amazon’s $5 billion second corporate headquarters, a project that could bring 50,000 jobs during the next 15 to 17 years.  

In the past year, these technology players and their data centers have led the way in terms of investments. Facebook is at the top of the list with plans to build a $1 billion data center in Henrico County. While Facebook chose the Richmond region, West Coast-based Vantage Data Centers looked to Loudoun County, Virginia’s data center hub, for another $1 billion project: a 1-million-square-foot data center campus in Ashburn.

As a sector, data centers, with their processing, hosting and related services, brought more investment to Virginia than any other industry last year. Yet its cousin, computer programming services, created the most overall jobs.

Amazon Web Services Inc. plans to hire 1,500 workers for a new East Coast corporate campus that the cloud computing services provider is locating in Fairfax County. also is building an e-commerce and distribution center in Frederick County that’s expected to create 1,100 jobs.

Virginia continues to draw corporate headquarters expansions. Navy Federal Credit Union is building a $100 million service and support facility in Frederick that will create 1,400 jobs, while Capital One Financial Corp. is making news with a new headquarters complex at Tysons that will include a Wegmans on the ground floor.

Overall in 2017, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership announced 237 projects, with an investment value of $4.2 billion, and a total 22,614 jobs.  That’s slightly below 2016 numbers, which saw $4.6 billion in investment and 24, 116 jobs. 

There’s always HQ2, the nickname for Amazon’s second headquarters.  That prize would vault Virginia into job heaven. An announcement is expected later this year.

Economic development charts

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