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Pangiam Chairman and CEO Kevin McAleenan with Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick (courtesy Pangiam)

(Updated at 3:55 p.m. on 9/23/2022) A consultant that provides facial recognition technology and other identity verification services to the travel and security industries has selected Tysons as the site of its new global headquarters.

Drawn by Fairfax County’s “dynamic” workforce, Pangiam will establish a base at Valo Park (7950 Jones Branch Drive) with a $3.1 million investment, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced this morning (Thursday).

The move will expand the business with 20,000 additional square feet of office space and 201 new jobs in the county over the next three years, according to press releases from the governor’s office and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA).

“We chose Virginia as our headquarters for a variety of reasons,” Pangiam Chief Investment Officer Tom Plofchan said. “First, it’s home. Our leadership team is either from Virginia or built their careers and families here, so it was only right to build and try to contribute to the local community when we started Pangiam.”

Plofchan also cited Northern Virginia’s proximity to the federal government and “world-class” talent pool as factors in Pangiam’s decision.

“Our collaboration with Virginia’s universities has helped our team, just a handful of people with a vision less than three years ago, compete with some of the largest companies in the world for talent,” he said.

Founded by customs and security professionals in 2019 and acquired by a private equity firm in 2020, Pangiam develops tools that use data analytics, biometrics and artificial intelligence to boost security and detect potential threats, with airports as a top focus.

The company’s clients include the Department of Homeland Security, the Air Force, Delta and United airlines and Washington National Airport, per the FCEDA.

Pangiam has been occupying “temporary space” in Virginia during the buildout of its new headquarters, a spokesperson said.

“With the support of our partners at Stream Realty, the attention to detail and execution provided by our GC team at DWatts, and the flexibility and innovative design vision Collective Architecture brought to the equation, the new facility gives us space to grow and the work environment to attract top local and national talent back to the office,” Pangiam told FFXnow by email.

Secured through a collaboration between the county and state economic development teams, the selection of Tysons cements Fairfax County’s “strong position as a place of choice for tech industry leaders,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said in a statement.

“With safety always at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Fairfax County is pleased to have Pangiam’s headquarters in Fairfax County, the heart of America’s national security infrastructure,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “As Pangiam works to secure our ports of entry using next-generation technology, we welcome their expansion to Tysons and the hundreds of new jobs they are bringing.”

The announcement comes just a day after Youngkin shared that another tech startup, Enabled Intelligence Inc., will expand its headquarters in West Falls Church.

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The startup plans to add 117 jobs to the county (via Google Maps)

An artificial intelligence startup is expanding its headquarters in West Falls Church by investing $1.4 million and creating 117 new jobs.

Enabled Intelligence, Inc., a company that provides secure data labeling services to enable artificial intelligence operations, will add more than 10,000 square feet of space to its current offices at 6400 Arlington Blvd, just outside Seven Corners, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced today (Wednesday).

Unclassified space is also planned.

“We are excited to expand our operations here in Virginia,” Enabled Intelligence Inc. CEO Peter Kant said. “Our Fairfax County home is close to our federal customers, and we are able to draw on the highly qualified Virginia workforce of high-tech neurodiverse professionals and military veterans.”

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with the state’s economic development partnership to secure the project for Virginia.

Here’s more from what state and county leaders had to say about the expansion:

“I am pleased to once again see a major technology innovator expanding its operations in Fairfax County,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “This growth in AI applications from a company that also capitalizes on the tremendous workforce diversity of our County is a perfect example of how next-generation companies headquartered here are leading the way.”

“We are honored to have Enabled Intelligence expand their presence here in Fairfax County,”¬†said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). “The opportunities they offer to our diverse populations is extraordinary, and their efforts shine as a bright example of the true spirit of inclusion, upon which we continue to build our thriving business community.”

“Accelerating the transition of start-ups is one of my administration’s goals, and the expansion of businesses such as Enabled Intelligence in Fairfax County is key to our economic development strategy,” said¬†Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We are proud to support this homegrown Virginia business and remain committed to fostering a business climate and training a workforce that supports our corporate partners of all sizes.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Marumen will be among the restaurants participating in Fairfax City’s first-ever summer Restaurant Week (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The D.C. region’s summer restaurant celebration may be over, but in Fairfax City, the festivities are just about to get underway.

The city is expanding its Restaurant Week into a biannual occasion with its first-ever summer program on Monday (Aug. 29). Now in its fifth year, the initiative will build on “the success of the past four years while showcasing the culinary breadth of the city’s dining community,” according to a press release.

Fairfax City’s summer Restaurant Week will run from through Sept. 4. It was planned by a committee of restauranteurs and consultants, and it’s being sponsored by the Fairfax City Economic Development Authority and the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce.

“We are so excited to give folks one more reason to visit Fairfax City in the summer,” Fairfax Mayor David Meyer said in a statement. “…With the Summer rendition of Fairfax City Restaurant Week, we are excited to sweeten the deal and showcase our unparalleled restaurant community while visitors taste, sip, and savor dining that is uniquely Fairfax City.”

Here’s how the program will work:

During the week-long event, participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe menus of $20 for lunch/brunch and $35 for dinner per person with couple and family meal options available. In addition to the curated menus, specialty restaurants will offer a Two for $10 Deal providing food lovers the opportunity to further explore Fairfax City’s regionally lauded diverse culinary scene.

The roster of participating restaurants includes 20 eateries that were part of the city’s winter Restaurant Week, including:

Coyote Grille & Cantina, Marumen, The Wine House, The Auld Shebeen, Dolce Vita Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar, Capital Ale House, Patriots Pub & Grill, High Side, Bellissimo Restaurant, Anita’s New Mexico Style Mexican Food, Hamrock’s Restaurant, Earp’s Ordinary, Foundation Coffee, Ruffino’s Spaghetti House, Baku Delicious, PJ Skidoos, Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolate, Cupcakes & Beyond, Kim’s Pho Vietnamese Kitchen and Bar, and Bollywood Bistro

Newcomers include Draper’s Steak and Seafood, which opened in Old Town in May, as well as El Pollo Rico and Slice of Matchbox.

The full list of participants can be found on the Fairfax City Restaurant Week website.

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Hilton is planning a major expansion of its headquarters in Tysons that will bring its workforce at the office to over 1,000 employees.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced this morning (Thursday) that the hospitality company will make “significant upgrades” to the¬†office it has operated at 7930 Jones Branch Drive since 2009.

“Hilton will re-imagine its space to create an even more vibrant place to convene and collaborate, fully integrating technology into the office experience to meet the needs of today’s workforce,” the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) said in a news release and announcement video.

Extending its lease for another 15 years, Hilton says it will continue to approximately 220,000 square feet at Park Place II, one of two adjacent office complexes owned by BF Saul Company by the intersection of Jones Branch Drive and Scotts Crossing Road.

While the amount of space is “roughly the same” as its current footprint, the company plans to enhance its office space and common areas, according to a Hilton spokesperson.

“We will be working closely with our Team Members over the coming months to determine what modifications we will make to create an even more vibrant place to convene and collaborate and to fully integrate technology into our office experience that accommodates today’s workforce,” the spokesperson said by email.

Over the next five years, Hilton plans to add 350 net new jobs at its headquarters, where approximately 800 workers are currently employed.

The extension of Hilton’s stay in Tysons was booked through a partnership between the FCEDA and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, according to the press release. It was also assisted by Youngkin’s approval of a $5 million Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant and a $1 million grant from the state Development Opportunity Fund.

Hilton will be eligible to receive a $1,000 income tax credit for each new, full-time job it creates with the expansion, and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support employee training activities.

“Northern Virginia has been Hilton’s home for more than a decade, and the region has played an instrumental role in helping us create the best, most inclusive home for our Team Members while also managing the demands of a global business,” Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said in a statement. “We appreciate the continued support of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Fairfax County and the Tysons Partnership in ensuring we continue to attract strong, diverse talent to our vibrant, growing region.”

The Park Place offices will see additional change in the coming years with an overhaul of the Tysons Park Place building at 7926 Jones Branch Drive that got the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ approval on June 28.

State and local officials expressed excitement at the Hilton news in prepared statements: Read More

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The Boro in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax County has big plans for Tysons, and to realize them, it may end up laying the groundwork for a new approach to economic development.

Now in its second decade of life, the nonprofit Tysons Partnership tasked with fulfilling the county’s vision for Tysons has been spent the past couple of years — and part of a $1 million grant — reinventing itself, with a revamped website here, a change in leadership there.

Ultimately, the group intends to transition into a new “anchor” organization that it says will be more sustainable and better equipped to support Tysons long term, potentially handling everything from business recruitment to streetlight outages.

Details of this organization, including what it will be called and how it will be funded, are still being worked out, but with Tysons aiming to evolve from an office hub into a full-fledged community, officials confirmed this week that, contrary to recent speculation, it won’t be a business improvement district (BID).

“In Tysons, since we were focusing on the need to facilitate the sense of a livable, walkable community or communities, community development seemed as important, if not more important than economic development,” acting Tysons Partnership Executive Director Rich Bradley told the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (May 17).

In a presentation to the board’s economic development committee, members of a Tysons Vision Work Group that formed last year said they looked at existing BIDs in the D.C. area and elsewhere in the U.S. as models, citing examples from Rosslyn and Georgetown to Cherry Creek in Denver, Colorado.

However, as suggested by their name, BIDs are typically driven by businesses and other commercial properties, which pay a special tax to fund economic and community initiatives.

The work group of 30-plus stakeholders unanimously favored a more inclusive approach that also engages residents, nonprofits, and the public sector, according to Bradley, who said the Tysons anchor organization will follow more of a “community improvement or community investment district” framework. Read More

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Gov. Glenn Youngkin visited Google’s Reston Station office today (Tuesday) to help the company share its plans to continue building up Virginia’s technology industry.

Flanked by public officials at a media event, Google executive Vint Cerf announced it will invest over $300 million in Virginia this year.

“Virginia is a shining example of the work we’re doing across the United States with a growing office right here in Reston Station and continued investments that we’re making in our data centers in northern Virginia,” Cerf said.

According to a news release, the tech giant plans to invest approximately $9.5 billion in offices and data centers and create at least 12,000 new full-time Google jobs across the U.S. this year.

Google didn’t discuss details about specific local investments, but a public relations firm said the company “plans to continue investing in its data center portfolio in Northern Virginia.”

A law passed earlier this year and effective July 1 reconfigured how data centers are taxed.

“We have now a framework to incentivize data center investments across all industry, and we have a great working relationship with Google,” Youngkin said.

Cerf also said the company will provide a $250,000 grant to CodeVA, a Richmond-based nonprofit focused on teaching coding skills to kids. The money will support programming for students across the state.

Mark Isakowitz, Google’s government affairs lead in the U.S. and Canada, said the company worked with the governor’s team to make the investment announcement a reality. While the state didn’t provide any “specific” funding to the company, the partners have a shared vision, according to Youngkin.

The Republican governor said Google’s investment will have ripple effects for the Commonwealth’s economy. He also announced that Virginia is joining a National Governors Association initiative to prioritize computer science curricula in schools.

Google partners with Virginia on education

Google will also work with the Virginia Community College system and Department of Education to help people of all ages get professional certificates. The effort involves the state’s 23 community colleges and five higher education centers in the Commonwealth.

Per a news release:

This partnership will provide more entry-level opportunities for Virginians seeking careers in tech fields via the certificates, which are taught and developed by Google employees with decades of experience. Google Career Certificates are available in the fields of data analytics, IT support, project management, and user experience (UX) design, and do not require prior experience or a degree.

While Google has invested in Northern Virginia with two data center campuses in Loudoun County and the recent expansion of its Reston office, the region has over 90,000 open technology positions, according to the Northern Virginia Technology Council.

“This is an exciting day,” Youngkin said, thanking Google and saying he was excited to see workplaces come alive.

Daniel Golding, a Google infrastructure director who leads the capital region’s tech site, suggested that the company is probably about 20 or 30% more effective when employees work in the office instead of from home.

“It’s really important to collaborate and work together,” he said.

Youngkin chatted with workers and toured amenities in the four-level office. Looking down on Reston and the Dulles Toll Road from the building’s 15th floor, he joked that it must be “a terrible place to have to work.”

“Look at that view,” Youngkin said.

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A lab worker is seen at Bode Technology’s facility (via Fairfax County Economic Development Authority)

Bode Technology, which assists Fairfax County and Virginia with forensic services, will spend $2 million to hire more staff to meet its growing needs.

Announced today (Monday) by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the investment will help the company hire “additional senior and entry-level laboratory technicians, information technology and engineering professionals and other business support roles,” the news releases said.

“For more than 25 years, Bode Technology has called Virginia our home, and today’s announcement is a testament to that bond,” Bode Technology CEO Mike Cariola said. “To help fight crime, we need to hire the most talented scientists in the world, and the universities in Virginia and surrounding areas have been essential to our success.”

Located at 10430 Furnace Road, the company will get support from the Commonwealth through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, where state funding helps businesses recoup costs of adding jobs.

“Bode Technology is eligible to receive up to $850 per job, for a total of up to $60,350 for 71 net new jobs, from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP),” Virginia Economic Development Partnership spokesperson Suzanne Clark told FFXnow in an email. “VJIP is a performance-based incentive. Once a designated funding amount is approved, companies do not receive reimbursement until they have created the minimum net new, full-time jobs to qualify for funding and the new hires have been on the company’s payroll for at least 90 days.”

The company currently has 250 employees.

The governor’s news release noted that the state’s economic development authority worked with the Fairfax County EDA through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs to support employee recruitment and training activities.

Bode Technology uses DNA to help law enforcement agencies track criminals, and it also reduces backlogs by processing sexual assault kits, among other services. According to the company, it helped identify victims of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and the remains of U.S. soldiers dating back to World War II.

“Demand for our services has increased, and today we are recruiting talented scientists from across the country to join us here in Fairfax County so that we can continue our mission,” Cariola’s statement said.

Photo via FCEDA

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The bingo card to participate in Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation’s Richmond Highway restaurant bingo (courtesy SFDC)

Frequenting local restaurants in the Richmond Highway corridor could pay off in gift cards.

The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, a nonprofit that promotes revitalization of the corridor, is running a bingo campaign through April 11 to encourage residents to eat at the area’s establishments.

This is the first time the SFDC is running the contest. The idea came from a community volunteer on its committee that focuses on public outreach, the nonprofit’s marketing and communications specialist Alexis DeFrancisco told FFXnow.

“Part of SFDC’s mission is to design projects designed to stimulate economic growth in the Richmond Highway corridor by working closely with business owners,” she said. “Bingo is a fantastic way to get people to visit local businesses and generate economic growth with the added incentive of winning prizes.”

Among the 24 restaurants that are listed on the bingo card are Mamma’s Kitchen, Woodlawn Press Winery, Cedar Knoll, Mezcalero Cocina Mexicana, Grounded Coffee Shop, and more.

Anyone who makes a qualifying purchase — $10 or more at participating restaurants — at five places that line up horizontally, diagonally or vertically, is entered into a raffle for the chance to win a $50 or $100 gift card. Three winners will be chosen. The first person to cross out the whole card will win a $100 gift card.

The SFDC promotes businesses from the Capital Beltway to Fort Belvoir, including in the communities of Penn Daw, Huntington, Beacon/Groveton, Hybla Valley, South County, and Woodlawn. Since 1981, it has helped direct nearly $2 billion of private investment to the area, according to its annual report.

Over the next five to 10 years, the corporation expects residents will see a transformation of the Richmond Highway corridor as multiple multifamily housing projects have started construction and there are plans for a revitalized mixed-use Metro station.

“New businesses are looking for space and most legacy businesses have survived the hardships of the last couple years,” DeFrancisco said. “With everything that’s in motion, the future of the Corridor looks bright.”

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Exterior of the Original Mount Vernon High School along Route 1 (via Fairfax County)

Fairfax County is looking for proposals to create a food-centric business accelerator and entrepreneurship center at a historic school.

The Original Mount Vernon High School, once part of President George Washington’s estate, has a former locker room that the county wants to develop.

The county’s Department of Economic Initiatives started gauging interest on Feb. 24 in applicants who could lease the 12,000-square-foot, lower-level space.

“This effort will serve as an anchor tenant in the building and contribute to the enhancement and activation of the larger campus,” a request for proposals page says.

The request is part of an effort to redevelop the school building. A gym has already been renovated and opened, and other parts of the site are being used as a satellite Fire Marshal’s Office for the South County area, a Fairfax County Public Schools registration site, and a teen/senior center.

The county says future development at the site could include “a theatre, space for education and workforce development, childcare, and a separate technology-based business center.”

The 22-acre property along Route 1 is part of state and national registers of historic places. The school was built in 1939 under the federally funded Public Works Administration with additions throughout the decades.

The school originally only allowed white students and didn’t desegregate until 1965.

As part of the development, respondents must show how the changes would advance racial and social equity.

Responses must be sent by the end of the month. The project page lists contact information and other details.

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The technology company Easy Dynamics is expanding its headquarters at 2000 Corporate Ridge in Tysons (via Google Maps)

For the second time in as many weeks, a Tysons-based company has shared plans to expand its local operations.

The technology services provider Easy Dynamics Corporation will invest $100,000 in its Tysons office at 2000 Corporate Ridge, a move that will create 61 new jobs, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority announced today (Monday).

According to the news release, the new jobs will range from software engineers and business analysts to project managers and other business support roles.

“We are proud to be the home of Easy Dynamics and gratified to see it continue to expand in Fairfax County,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said in a statement. “The company also has been an innovator in workforce development, and we look forward to using our Fairfax County-funded talent initiative to help it grow in the county.”

Founded in 2006, Easy Dynamics offers cybersecurity, cloud, information sharing, automation, and other technology-focused services.

CEO Poupak Afshar says the company chose Fairfax County as its headquarters for the area’s proximity to the federal government, the strength of its workforce, and its growing reputation as a hub for the tech sector.

“Northern Virginia is home to the second largest cybersecurity workforce in the U.S. and the state’s attractive business climate make the area a fantastic location for technology companies of all sizes,” Afshar said.

The Easy Dynamics news comes on the heels of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s announcement last week that the security provider Alarm.com will expand its technology research and development work in Tysons with a $2.6 million investment.

Echoing his sentiments from that announcement event, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement that Easy Dynamics’ expansion validates the county’s efforts to create a pro-business environment that supports diversity.

“The Board of Supervisors has worked hard to create an environment where businesses of all kinds, and entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, can grow and thrive,” McKay said. “I thank Poupak Afshar and her team at Easy Dynamics for the vote of confidence that they have shown in taking advantage of the assets we have built here for companies and their employees.”

Here is more from the FCEDA news release:

The FCEDA worked with the¬†Virginia Economic Development Partnership¬†to secure the project for Virginia and will support Easy Dynamics’ job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for residents.

“Northern Virginia is a top-ranked tech talent market in the U.S. and Easy Dynamics will benefit from our industry workforce pipeline at its Fairfax County location,” Youngkin said. “Supporting the growth of existing businesses of all sizes is a priority, and the Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide valuable assistance to the company in the recruitment and training of 61 new employees.”

Photo via Google Maps

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