In an economic win for the county, General Dynamics will build its new corporate headquarters in Reston.
The Board of Supervisors approved the Fortune 500 company’s development plans on Tuesday.
The aerospace and defense contractor said that it considered hundreds of locations across the U.S. before choosing the 21-acre site at 11011 Sunset Hills Road. The company currently rents 175,000 square feet in an office in Fairview Park for its headquarters staff.
It will move its 175 employees to a new building that its CEO called a “jewel box in the woods,” according to the firm’s land use lawyer.
The future headquarters will be built on an empty, wooded lot south of the Sunset Hills Road and north of the Dulles Toll Road. While the site was approved for three office buildings in 1999, it was never developed by its former owner, Boston Properties.
The move is “good news development,” said Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins who also called it an improvement over what was previously approved for the site.
General Dynamics’ new campus features a single, 160,000-square foot office building, plus 250 parking spaces in a three-level underground garage and surface lot.
The office will be built among trees, and 84 percent of the land will remain as open space. It will be built perpendicular to Sunset Hills, set back 140+ feet from the road. Not only will this reduce the building’s profile to the homes across the street, but also it will help to maintain the privacy the company seeks at this site.
The office will be further screened with a 35-foot landscaped berm facing Sunset Hills. However, the project includes a 10-foot, shared-use path along the road. It will connect to the W&OD Trail at the property’s western edge, as well the Wiehle Reston-East Metro Station. The plans allow for the building to be expanded at a later date. Two options were approved. Another 30,000 square feet can be added on the roof of the five-story office building, effectively adding a sixth floor. Or the company may bump out the building with the extra space.
The company pledged to give the county 9,431-square feet for a future urban park. The plot is located on the property’s northwestern corner, across from Clay Lane and Business Center Drive and next to the W&OD Trail.
General Dynamics is a major employer in Fairfax with 1,000 workers based here. It’s also one of eight Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Fairfax County, generating $177 billion in annual revenues, according to our Economic Development Authority.