Business News from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority – May 9

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Talk of Tysons

Fairfax County Properties Top Washington Business Journal’s Best Real Estate Deals of 2023

Two Fairfax County-based properties landed at the top of Washington Business Journal’s Best Real Estate Deals of 2023.

2023 Best Virginia Lease: Plaza East, Chantilly

Arcfield’s 124,400 square-foot lease at Plaza East in Chantilly was named the “Best Virginia Lease of the Year” by Washington Business Journal. Arcfield is a provider of full lifecycle, mission-focused systems engineering and integration capabilities to the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of Defense and other agencies. Headquartered in Chantilly, and with 16 offices around the world, Arcfield employs approximately 1,200 engineers, analysts, IT specialists, and other professionals.

2023 Best Virginia Sale: Liberty Crossing I and II, McLean

The sale of Liberty Crossing I and II, located in McLean, won the lead spot for Washington Business Journal’s “2023 Best Virginia Sale.” With a combined sales tag that clocked in at over $530 million, the sale of a pair of facilities in McLean nabbed the region’s largest sale of 2023 by a long shot — fetching $330 million more than next largest sale of the year, reported Washington Business Journal.

MITRE to Build AI Supercomputer with NVIDIA

McLean, Va. and Bedford, Mass.-based MITRE, a key supplier to the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies, is building a $20 million supercomputer with chipmaker NVIDIA to speed deployment of artificial intelligence capabilities across the U.S. federal government, MITRE said, reported The Washington Post. MITRE, a federally funded, not-for-profit research organization, said the project could improve everything from Medicare to taxes. “There’s huge opportunities for AI to make government more efficient,” said Charles Clancy, senior vice president of MITRE. “Government is inefficient, it’s bureaucratic, it takes forever to get stuff done. … That’s the grand vision, is how do we do everything from making Medicare sustainable to filing your taxes easier?” The MITRE supercomputer will be based in Ashburn, Va., and should be up and running late this year.

Clancy said all federal agencies funding MITRE will be able to use this AI “sandbox.” “AI is the tool that is solving a wide range of problems,” Clancy said. “The U.S. military needs to figure out how to do command and control. We need to understand how cryptocurrency markets impact the traditional banking sector… Those are the sorts of problems we want to solve.”

In more MITRE AI news, the organization published in a new paper titled “Enhancing Acquisition Outcomes through Leveraging of Artificial Intelligence,” reported ExecutiveGov. According to the publication, the inevitability of artificial intelligence affecting all areas of federal acquisition must be accepted by leaders in contracting. By embracing AI safely and responsibly, acquisition leaders can help the government purchase higher-quality capabilities at greater speed and lower cost.

Next Accelerate Breakfast Series Pitch Event Set for July 19

Applications Open for Seed Funding Pitch Event at MITRE in Tysons

The next event of the quarterly Accelerate Breakfast Pitch series, presented by Fairfax County and George Mason University, will be held on Friday, July 19, 2024, at MITRE in Tysons. The Accelerate Breakfast Series are regular events that bring together entrepreneurs and investors for curated pitch opportunities, to support growth of the local entrepreneurial network. The program will bolster Fairfax County and the region’s start-up ecosystem to drive investment to local companies.

At the event five companies seeking seed funding ($500K – $2M) will present their business models and growth strategies to a distinguished group of investors. This platform is an excellent opportunity to gain visibility, secure investment, and build strategic partnerships.

Applications are being accepted in high-growth, innovation, and technology sectors across Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. This is an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their potential and innovation within a wide range of industries. The selected participants will be given coaching focusing on their business’s key aspects, growth potential, and value proposition. This is ultimately to prepare for the Accelerate Investor Conference in October.

WHEN: July 19, 2024, 7:30 AM Networking and 8 AM Welcome
WHEREMITRE, Tysons, Virginia

How to Apply: To apply, click here
Application Deadline: June 14, 2024, 5 PM

Application Process: Notification will be sent by June 21, 2024, for selected companies to pitch via email. Selected companies will receive coaching prior to July 4 for the July 19 event.

At the Epicenter of Global AI Revolution

FCEDA’s Director of International Business Investment Brian Han was interviewed by South Korea’s AI Times during a recent trip there to promote Fairfax County to South Korean companies interested in expanding to the United States. During the interview, Han emphasized that Fairfax County is a hub of the U.S. tech industries, including Artificial Intelligence (AI). Han mentioned that MITRE recently established an independent AI R&D institute in Fairfax County and that FCEDA is ready to support global AI companies to do business in the U.S. market. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, which includes Fairfax County, is becoming an emerging ‘AI region’ in the United States, Han said. “Traditionally, the hub for IT companies is Silicon Valley, but the Washington D.C. area is more dominant in the emerging AI field. Now, IT companies headquartered in the West, including San Francisco, are considering relocating or expanding into the East.” Click here to read more.

Future of Tysons

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Victor Hoskins was on a panel discussing the “Future of Tysons” at a Bisnow event on May 2, along with Holland & Knight Partner David Schneider; Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing Director of Real Estate Development Mitch Crispell; and Tysons Community Alliance CEO Katie Cristol. Topics of discussion included the region’s latest projects, including infrastructure investments, multifamily developments, affordability initiatives, office growth and more. Read more in Bisnow.

Potential investments

McLean-based Mars, Greater Washington’s largest private company, said it has entered exclusive discussions to acquire two veterinary diagnostics businesses located in Europe, according to Washington Business Journal. Mars is engaging with Cerba HealthCare about buying its ownership stake in Cerba Vet, a network of six veterinary diagnostics labs located in France and Switzerland, as well as Antagene, an animal DNA testing business located in Lyon, France. “We believe that Mars Science & Diagnostics is the right investor for Cerba Vet and Antagene and would be able to support the long-term development and growth of these businesses,” Emmanuel Ligner, CEO of Cerba HealthCare, said in a statement.

Landing on Park Place

Reston-based commercial real estate firm Comstock’s fastest-growing revenue segment is in parking lots, reported Washington Business Journal in subscriber content. ParkX Management, a Comstock subsidiary, grew its revenue to $4.8 million in 2023, up 50 percent from 2022, according to Comstock’s annual report, The year before, it grew 100 percent over 2021. The Comstock arm now manages 30 garages and 18,000 parking spaces across Greater Washington, up from 22 garages and 14,000 spaces in 2022 and 14 garages and 11,000 spaces in 2021.

And buy a hotel

Developer Cityline Partners secured the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ approval  to construct a dual-branded Hilton hotel in Tysons on part of a block originally slated to become an 18-story office building, FFXnow reported. The newly approved hotel will be located at the Dolley Madison Blvd (Route 123) and Anderson Road intersection, just a couple of blocks away from Archer Hotel, which opened in September 2021. Built atop a five-story parking podium, the building will devote four floors to Home2Suites, an extended-stay concept, and seven floors to the boutique Canopy by Hilton.

Strengthening national security through innovation

Reston-based Bcore, a provider of services to the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies, said it has acquired Arlington-based 2 Twelve Solutions, a provider of rapid prototyping and digital transformation services. “The acquisition of 2 Twelve is a strategic enhancement to our core capabilities, enabling us to leverage their exceptional technological acumen and rapid prototyping approaches,” said Bcore CEO Chad Kim. “They have fostered a culture of intellectually curious visionaries whose ethos will enhance our people-first culture, advancing our client’s objectives and strengthening national security through innovation, collaboration, and impactful solutions.” WashingtonExec has more.

Winner take all market? 

Matt Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Tysons-based Appian, told CNBC that though giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are spending billions on the tech, ensuring success in AI is “not just about money.” Referring to deals and partnerships between tech giants and smaller AI firms, Calkins said, “If coalitions won the AI race, Google would have won by now.” “The fact that you’ve got enough money to buy, or buy a piece of, Anthropic or Mistral or any of that, that’s impressive — but AI may not be a ‘winner take all’ market,” he added. Click here to see the interview.

New views

Westminster, Colo.-based Maxar Technologies, which maintains Chantilly and Herndon locations, launched its first two high-resolution Earth imagery and mapping satellites with solar arrays onboard a SpaceX Falcon rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, according to ExecutiveBiz. “These first-of-a-kind satellites will extend the quality and capability of our industry-leading constellation, tripling our ability to collect 30 cm-class imagery with high revisit rates and at more varied times throughout the day—meaning faster, more actionable insights for our customers,” said Dan Smoot, CEO of Maxar Intelligence.

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take

The Washington Capitals will soon unveil a new sports facility in Northern Virginia, according to Reston Now. Installation of the inline skate rink donated by the D.C.-based professional hockey team to Lake Fairfax Park in Reston is expected to finish this week, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority. The park authority and Capitals will celebrate the project’s completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free ball hockey clinic at the rink this Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Out of this World Cookies

Mclean-based Hilton made history when its DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookie became the first-ever food baked in space, in experiments designed to make long-duration space travel more welcoming and hospitable. Today, the famous chocolate chip cookie baked aboard the International Space Station has landed at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. “We are thrilled to display DoubleTree by Hilton’s chocolate chip cookie as the first-ever food baked in space by astronauts,” said Dr. Jennifer K. Levasseur, museum curator, Department of Space History, National Air and Space Museum. “Innovations like baking could make even longer duration missions in space much more enjoyable, and sustainable, so DoubleTree’s historic space cookie is a natural choice to represent this development in the Udvar-Hazy Center’s display of space food.” Click here to read more.


About the Fairfax County
Economic Development Authority

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) promotes Fairfax County, Virginia, as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County.

Want to know more about the services of the FCEDA, or how economic development helps Fairfax County? Visit the FCEDA website or e-mail  info@fceda.org.