This story was corrected on Nov. 8, 2011. An explanation follows.
Just a few weeks after receiving $9.5 million from the state to keep 1,250 jobs in Maryland for the next seven years, Bechtel has decided to relocate its global operations headquarters and 625 jobs from Frederick to Fairfax County, Va.
The company and Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) announced the move Monday, saying the relocation will add 625 jobs to the state and include the company's government services business unit, plus its U.S.-based civil business, Bechtel Enterprises, and corporate functions and services. The move is expected in the third quarter of 2012, according to a Bechtel statement.
Privately-held Bechtel, with headquarters in San Francisco, is one of the county's largest employers, with 2,000 employees at its Frederick offices, which house its power division. The company received a $9.5 million loan last month from Maryland's Economic Development Opportunities Fund, or Sunny Day Fund, to keep the power division in Frederick.
The company will lease almost 200,000 square feet between the One Reston Overlook and Two Reston Overlook buildings near Reston Town Center, about eight miles from Washington Dulles International Airport, according to a statement from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
Bechtel had been hinting at a move to Northern Virginia for months, in part, to be closer to federal military clients. The company already is active in Fairfax County, serving as the lead partner of Dulles Transit Partners.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority helped secure Bechtel a $1.5 million grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist the county with the project. McDonnell also approved $5 million from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant.
“We look forward to opening our offices in Reston, Virginia, next year,” Bill Dudley, Bechtel president and COO, said in the statement. “The Reston Town Center area is an ideal location for Bechtel and makes the best sense for the long-term positioning of parts of our business. We will have a central, more convenient location to Washington, D.C., and the Reagan National and Dulles International Airports, which facilitates access to our domestic and international customers; and proximity to the Dulles Technology Corridor.”
“As a leading service provider to the U.S. government, a location nearer to Washington, D.C., and within the Dulles Technology Corridor is a great benefit for our business,” said Craig Albert, president of Bechtel’s government services unit.
Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities, according to the authority statement.
"The decision by Bechtel to locate here demonstrates yet again the strength and success of Fairfax County's business-friendly culture and policies," Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said in the statement. "Bechtel is a major addition to the county's business community, and I am proud to welcome its employees to Fairfax County."
Besides keeping the direct Bechtel jobs in Frederick, the Maryland deal also supports an additional 2,300 indirect jobs and will generate more than $11 million annually in state taxes, according to a statement from Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
Bechtel operates through five global business units that specialize in civil infrastructure; power generation; communications and transmission; mining and metals; oil, gas and chemicals; and government services.
Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel, with revenues of $27.9 billion last year, has worked on more than 22,000 projects in 140 countries on all seven continents, according to company information.
Its 65-year-old power division has a portfolio of more than 400 fossil-fueled plants, 150 nuclear generating units, 50 waste-to-energy projects, 50 coal gasification projects, and a number of commercial applications for renewable energy.
Correction: Because of incorrect information provided by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the original version misstated the amount of space that Bechtel will lease in Reston.