Microsoft Corp. is joining the rapidly expanding Northern Virginia high-tech community. The multi-national technological company leased a new office space at Reston Town Center in Northern Virginia, and operations in the new location are set to start next summer.

During the facility’s opening ceremony that was attended by Microsoft officials, business leaders, customers, and local officials, the firm announced that it plans to create 1,500 new jobs in the area.

Governor Ralph Northman, who was among those who toured the facility, welcomed the tech giant in the area: “This announcement has come at the right time. The residents of Virginia will be the major beneficiaries of the new jobs offered by Microsoft, which is wonderful news especially at a time when many residents have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Microsoft Corp. already has an existing office in Northern Virginia at 12012 Sunset Hills Road in Reston. The new lease at Reston Town Centre’s Two Freedom Drive is part of the firm expansion plan in the region. The Washington based firm also has other locations in Chevy Chase, Richmond, and Maryland.

“The operations of this new office will mainly focus on software development. We will also have a retail space in the new location. The expansion is meant to increase technological investment in this region and strengthen the relationship Microsoft has with its partners and the people of this community,” noted Microsoft General Manager Terrell Cox.

The new center is in a 422K SF property located at 11955 Freedom Drive owned by Boston properties. The space was previously leased to Leidos, who relocated their business to another premise at the Reston Town center in 2018. The new move by Microsoft is one of many other expansions made by technological companies targeting the D.C. region.

According to Joe Ritchey, who is the executive vice president of Transwestern and the landlord’s representative at Reston Town Centre, there has been an increase in demand for rental units in the center. Most of the new tenants, according to Ritchey, are technology firms.

Other tech companies that have chosen to locate their businesses in the region in the past two years include Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Darren Robertson, Realtor and CEO of Northern Virginia Home Pro, describes the impact Amazon’s expansion into Northern Virginia had on property prices: “After Amazon’s HQ2 announcement in 2018 we saw a significant rise in market momentum and home sales, as investors and prospective employees wanted to lock down property surrounding the new HQ. Property prices in Northern Virginia actually skyrocketed by 21% following the tech giant’s announcement to move into the area.”

Trade experts agree with Ritchey and Robberston’s sentiments and predict the Northern Virginia property market will remain strong despite the economic downturn brought by COVID-19.

Victor Hoskins, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority CEO, also spoke positively of Microsoft’s plans: “We welcome Microsoft’s expansion to Fairfax County. The tech ecosystem in northern Virginia and the talent in our community are a great match to the skills needs of the company. We also hope that the innovation and the community’s passion for technology can help meet the firm’s business goals.”

Microsoft has enjoyed a rise in demand in its services, especially now that most people are working from home. One of their best-selling products is their Teams app, which helps work teams collaborate better. The firm’s share price has risen by 10% this year.

 

As Published by Patch – Efrain Pierce photo by shutterstock