Currently, in Arlington County, a podcasting studio would need to go through a county permitting process to inhabit an office building.
But that is likely changing.
A proposal to allow more “untraditional” uses in traditional office buildings is headed to the Arlington County Board this weekend.
On Saturday, the Board is set to consider revising the zoning ordinance to allow broadcasting studios and businesses in the audio-visual production field to occupy commercial space by right. It is also expanding what counts as research and development while allowing those uses by right, too.
Under the changes, entrepreneurs would no longer need a permit to outfit an office for podcasting and influencer studios — Instagram-ready backdrops for people to take photos and record content.
Arlington’s extensive roster of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence startups, meanwhile, would no longer need a permit to conduct research and development. Facilities doing technological, electronic, biological, scientific and engineering research would be able to lease a typical office building in the same way as any other office tenant.
These businesses could also engage in small-scale product design, development, prototyping and testing. The changes will not allow industrial scale production or manufacturing.
Arlington Economic Development says these are some emerging trends it is looking to pounce to tackle its office vacancy rate and remain competitive in a changing economic landscape. Otherwise, it may lose out to peer cities, such as Seattle and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“In the past, [AED] has had prospects come through looking for flexible research and development space to locate their semiconductor and microchip, cyber and quantum computing, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning companies,” according to a county report. “However, the AED team was not always readily able to accommodate those prospects due to zoning barriers.”
“The competition for attracting research and development investment is fierce, the market for these uses is strong, and technological advances have allowed these uses to fit seamlessly into existing business districts,” it continued.
This is the fourth zoning code update headed to the County Board in 13 months under the “Commercial Market Resiliency Strategy.”
Through this strategy, the county established a streamlined public engagement process that expedited the approval process for these changes. Some Planning Commissioners have balked at the shortened engagement period and the nuisances that may arise.
Despite these misgivings, the strategy has already been used to allow micro-fulfillment centers, urban agriculture, breweries and distilleries, and artisan workshops to operate in office buildings, without additional red tape.
Most recently, the County Board approved a broader definition of by-right indoor recreation use, meaning pickleball courts and ax-throwing could be coming to an office building near you.
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Arlington County is gearing up to raze a three-story office building on Columbia Pike this summer and turn it into a parking lot.
To get started, the Arlington County Board needs to kick off public hearings to consider the land-use changes needed for the new use. It is slated to do so on Saturday.
“These subject approvals will facilitate the final steps needed to demolish the existing building and construct the proposed interim surface parking improvements, including the review of construction plans and issuance of permits,” according to a county report.
Parking is a temporary use for the site, which the county bought last year for $7.55 million.
“Arlington County acquired the office building at 3108 Columbia Pike in March 2022, after it was identified as a potential site for a future Columbia Pike branch library and for potential co-location of County Board priorities, such as affordable housing,” the county report said.
The adopted 2023-32 Capital Improvement Plan, however, “anticipates completion of a new Columbia Pike branch library no sooner than 2028 at the earliest, thus presenting opportunities for a temporary use on the site in the interim,” it continued.
The county already determined it cannot save the office building and repurpose it.
“While the site is developed with a vacant, three-story office building, through due diligence completed prior to acquisition, the County determined the building is not fit for re-use and should be demolished,” the report said.
If the hearings are authorized on Saturday and the Board approves and the project, which could happen next month, the Dept. of Environmental Services will demolish the building this summer.
Doing so will expand the number of parking spaces from 63 to 92, per the report, fewer than originally anticipated. The county expected to add 58 spaces for a total of 121, according to a county document from last year.
For now, DES intends to lease the parking to Arlington Public Schools.
“The County has identified an expanded surface parking lot as a recommended interim use, which could support parking needs for the Career Center Campus during its redevelopment project, or accommodate other public parking needs before future redevelopment of the site,” the report said.
The Arlington School Board approved designs for the new, $182.42 million campus last October. Most of the funds were included in the 2022 School Bond referendum, according to an APS webpage.
“The project will now transition into the Use Permit phase and the new Arlington Career Center will be completed in December 2025,” the webpage says.
A letter included in the use permit APS filed for the Career Center in February said the site will accommodate 1,619 students. The site will also fit 775 Montessori Public School of Arlington students for a total of 2,394 students, per another document in the filings.
In response to criticism from residents, citizen commissioners and county staff, a developer has removed a drive-thru ATM from its plans to redevelop the Wells Fargo in Clarendon.
One year ago, McLean-based developer Jefferson Apartment Group filed plans to replace the bank — the one someone recently attempted to rob — with a mixed-use building. It is set to consist of 238 apartments, 60,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of retail, including a new Wells Fargo branch.
The current two-story bank building at 3140 Washington Blvd has a drive-thru in addition to a surface parking lot. Critics of keeping the drive-thru say it would detract from walkability in the area, which is seeing significant redevelopment that will result in more people living, shopping and using public amenities in Clarendon.
“This is the most walkable place in the county and drive-up for anything doesn’t make sense to me,” said Planning Commission member Jim Lantelme back in February. “You would have to have a second ATM that people could walk up to.”
One commenter said drive-thrus are “horrible for the environment and they aren’t faster than parking and going into the building,” while another called it “a relic of the 70s [that] doesn’t belong here.”
A third said it “seems like a very bad idea that will take away space from pedestrians and increase the chance of crashes and congestion in an area that is meant to be dense and walkable.”
Jefferson had originally doubled down on the drive-thru ATM, saying in a county document this was “for the convenience of existing customers and as requested by Wells Fargo based on customer feedback during and after the pandemic.”
Ultimately, it agreed to changes that resemble a suggestion from the Clarendon Courthouse Civic Association: walk-up ATMs and free, short-term parking on a new local street that Jefferson will construct as part of the project.
The walk-up ATMs will be located at the northern and southern edges of the bank, which looks out over N. Irving Street. This street, which dead-ends in a green space, is set to become a plaza through a separate, Dept. of Parks and Recreation-led planning process.
People using the ATMs will be able to park in short-term parking on the north side of a planned public road. As part of the project, Jefferson will build a new 10th Road N., which will run parallel to Washington Blvd and separate the new construction from the existing Verizon building to the south.
Even with the walk-up ATMs, staff have concerns that a bank, generally, is not the kind of lively retail that encourages people to use the planned Irving Street Plaza. Those who commented were not as concerned with this but suggested sculptures or water features could help “activate” the plaza.
One person’s vacant building is another’s future pickleball facility.
Not to be topped by a County Board candidate’s suggestion to put pickleball facilities at the condemned Key Bridge Marriott, Board Vice-Chair Libbey Garvey mulled whether vacant office buildings could be retrofitted for courts.
“We’ve got these office buildings that are kind of empty, and we’re trying to figure out what to do with them,” she asked at the Board’s Tuesday meeting. “Is that a possibility?”
Already recognized in some rankings as a great place to play pickleball, Arlington County is looking to add more courts in response to the sport’s booming popularity. But it has found itself in a pickle, balancing pressure to add courts with pressure to address pickleball-related noise and land use concerns from some neighbors.
During the Arlington County Board conversation with the Dept. of Parks and Recreation, members took a diplomatic approach, in contrast to the threats of legal action, accusations of bullying and public urination, and late night TV lampooning that have characterized the ongoing local pickleball battle.
In addition to Garvey’s vision for pickleball taking over vacant office buildings, others floated nudging private clubs to get in on the fun. They said private courts could ease the burden on the local government to add facilities, mute the “pop” the paddles emit and help address the stubborn office vacancy rate.
Such possibilities would require working with Arlington Economic Development, said Dept. of Parks and Recreation Director Jane Rudolph.
“There’d have to be an evaluation with others who understand layouts of office building and warehouses and things and with [Arlington Economic Development] colleagues about what we could be doing in existing private spaces and if they could be built out,” she said.
Arlington Economic Development’s Director of Real Estate Development Marc McCauley told ARLnow that zoning changes the Arlington County Board approved on Saturday do open up opportunities for private pickleball facilities in vacant retail and commercial spaces.
“These private facilities, such as national operator Chicken N Pickle” — a sport, restaurant and event space — “are emerging concepts that could theoretically relieve some demand pressure on use of pickleball courts in public facilities,” McCauley said. “Challenges may include ceiling height, floor plate size and noise attenuation, but those issues would need to be studied by a property owner and potential tenant on a case by case basis.”
Another example is Kraken Kourts, with two locations in D.C. that offer pickleball, axe throwing, roller skating and a rage room — a place to break things to let off steam.
Board Chair Christian Dorsey asked whether DPR has considered how the the county could “encourage some operators to set up some pickleball facilities so that this doesn’t become solely a government responsibility.”
In communities known for their pickleball amenities, Dorsey observed there are major, private indoor-outdoor facilities which sometimes have “really substantial membership costs or drop-in fee costs.”
This includes, Board member Takis Karantonis noted, “some very private places with a lot of tennis courts — a lot of new tennis courts, actually.”
(Updated at 2 p.m.) The newest trend in office leasing may be painful for Arlington County’s office vacancy rate in the short term — but it could be beneficial in the long run.
As companies try to coax employees enjoying remote work back to the office at least part of the time, some are trading spacious leases for smaller agreements with more amenities. Landlords are responding with more investments in renovations.
“We are right-sizing from the pandemic,” said Chaise Schmidt, a senior vice president of and broker with real estate company Colliers. “It’s truly a transition period.”
Arlington County’s office vacancy rate is continuing to climb, reaching 23.7% in the first quarter of 2023. That is up from 20.8% in the summer of 2022, up from 16.6% at the beginning of 2020 and 18.7% at the beginning of 2021.
Meanwhile, a Washington Post poll published on Friday found that “two-thirds of D.C. area remote-capable workers want to work from home ‘most’ or ‘all’ of the time.” Only 3% wanted to work from home “rarely” or “never.”
Much of Arlington’s local tax base comes from commercial property with tenants in it, so a high vacancy rate can mean more pressure on residential property owners to make up the difference in their taxes — if they want the forthcoming budget to pay for the level of services currently offered.
But the news is not all bad. Organizations are still seeking to lease — they are just reducing the size of their office floor plans by 20-50% and, instead, paying more for higher-quality amenities, Colliers found. Schmidt said this has been christened the “flight-to-quality trend.”
“Business leaders are realizing you cannot build a company culture and innovation in an old, dark office space,” she said. “You need a beautiful, comfortable space, with lots of natural light, outfitted with a variety of meeting rooms of all different sizes.”
That will mean a higher vacancy in the short term but, she predicts, that rate will even out.
Some companies are moving out of older, less technologically equipped offices in lower-demand areas, dubbed “Class B and C buildings,” into more marquee “Class A and trophy class” buildings in Arlington, particularly in Rosslyn and Ballston.
“People want to be in Arlington,” Schmidt said. “Ballston and Rosslyn are getting a lot of attention.”
Two buildings in Ballston are set to come online soon: 3901 N. Fairfax Drive at the end of this year and George Mason’s FUSE at Mason Square next year.
Above-grade construction started in the fourth quarter of 2022 on 3901 Fairfax Drive, consisting of 178,131 square feet of office space, 16,185 square feet of retail and 7,311 square feet of “other space,” per a development tracking report from the Arlington County Dept. of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
The FUSE building, meanwhile, consists of 345,000 square feet for laboratories, classrooms, offices, startup incubators, co-working facilities and other uses.
“They are both true speculative buildings,” she said. “That’s showing us the confidence landlords have. They’re doubling down on Ballston.”
As for existing buildings, landlords are upgrading their leasable spaces and sweetening the deal with allowances for moving costs and for making improvements.
Common upgrades for business include establishing a tenant lounge and creating conference centers. But there are more distinctive changes.
“We’re seeing really fun amenities as well, like golf simulators,” she said. “It’s business but it’s fun, too. You want to pull people to your building.”
Developer Brookfield has signaled its plans to redevelop the vacant Transportation Security Administration office buildings in Pentagon City.
Last month, Brookfield filed preliminary plans outlining how it will redevelop the site. The filed documents are not site plans that illustrate the buildings it intends to construct, but rather, a high-level overview of what it intends to do with the property.
The real estate company has long had plans to redevelop the TSA buildings, located at 601 and 701 12th Street S., near the Pentagon City Metro entrance and between the Pentagon City mall and the second phase of Amazon’s HQ2. Those plans are currently paused and the buildings have been empty since the TSA left in March 2021 for Springfield, abandoning its original plans to move to Alexandria.
Brookfield put its redevelopment plans on hold in 2020 at the request of Arlington County planners, who were working on a new sector plan to guide future development in Pentagon City, per the Washington Business Journal.
More than a year after the passage of the Pentagon City Sector Plan, Brookfield is taking its first steps toward redeveloping the property, which it is calling “12th Street Landing.”
Brookfield is dividing the property into three land bays, which it will redevelop one at a time, according to land use attorney Kedrick Whitmore. It will apply for site plans for these land bays “in the future,” he adds.
“The proposed development will result in significant improvements to the Property and benefit the Pentagon City community,” per a letter to the county from Whitmore. “Indeed, to enable the requested density increase, the proposed development will provide community benefits on-site, consistent with the recommendations of the Sector Plan.”
The number of buildings within each land bay and their uses will be finalized at the site plan stage, wrote Whitmore. Brookfield will provide on-site affordable housing but other community benefits will be worked out during the site plan process.
In the application, Brookfield asks the county to approve the maximum allowable density in for the site, as outlined in the Pentagon City Sector Plan. It also asks for permission to allocate that density among “various buildings and uses” once it files site plans for the site.
A new vision for replacing the Pentagon Centre shopping center, including the Costco, is coming into focus.
Kimco Realty Corporation revised its plans envisioning the long-term redevelopment of the 16.8-acre site, which were first approved by the Arlington County Board in 2015. Kimco submitted documents articulating these changes — which call for new high-rise residential and commercial buildings — in late December.
“With the redevelopment approvals that have been granted since 2015, and because the Pentagon City Metro Station is contained within the Pentagon Centre block, Pentagon Centre should be part of the intensification of redevelopment — in height, in mix and in overall density — to leverage the significant positive impacts of Metro ridership, job creation and livability here in Arlington County,” per the plan.
Pentagon City has recently been the focus of private redevelopment and county planning initiatives. On the Pentagon Centre site, Kimco has completed the redevelopment of surface parking into an apartment building dubbed the Witmer (710 12th Street S.) in 2019. Another apartment tower, dubbed the Milton (1446 S. Grant Street), is nearing completion.
Elsewhere, the first phase of Amazon’s second headquarters is set to open this summer, and — once economic headwinds change for the company — a second phase with the marquee “Double Helix” building is still planned, though delayed. JBG Smith, meanwhile, plans to redevelop acres of surface parking at the RiverHouse apartment complex into more residences.
Kimco updated its guidelines for redeveloping the Pentagon Centre site because much has changed in seven years. Office demand dropped due to the pandemic, so the real estate company proposes swapping some proposed office space for more apartments. It made changes to align with the 2022 Pentagon City Sector Plan, which guides long-term growth in the neighborhood.
“While we are not part of the sector plan, we thought it was a good time to look at the plan,” Kimco’s Director of Multifamily Development Abbey Oklak told the Arlington Ridge Civic Association during a meeting last week.
The new plans propose two office buildings, down from three, as well as three additional residential towers. Green space increased by about 30%, to nearly three acres, criss-crossed by planted paths, or “green ribbons,” envisioned in the Pentagon City Sector Plan.
Kimco divides the redevelopments into two phases. In the new first phase, S. Grant Street — which currently dead-ends at the southern edge of the mall — will extend through the site as a double-sided retail street.
Existing retail space west of the extended S. Grant Street, including Marshalls, Best Buy and restaurants, would become a pair of towers, one residential and one office, with ground-floor retail and parking.
“We wanted to look at the realignment of S. Grant Street so that Costco could stay,” Vice President of Development at Kimco Greg Reed said. “We’d take the mall down and bring the tenants back if they want to stay, in a different format… and have density above that in the future.”
In the new second phase, the Costco and parking garage on S. Fern Street would become an apartment building, an office tower with a conference center and a mixed-use hotel and apartment building, all with retail at the base.
These changes will not be happening for a while, as Kimco is still signing 10-year deals with retailers in the shopping center with 5-year extension options beyond that, civic association meeting attendees were told.
The RCA building in Rosslyn could soon be demolished — not with a bang, but mechanically and over the next five months.
“We are awaiting issuance of the demolition permit,” said Greg Van Wie, the senior vice president for McLean-based Jefferson Apartment Group. “[We] anticipate receiving it any day and commencing immediately thereafter.”
The looming demolition work comes nearly two years after the county approved plans to replace the concrete-cladded office building at 1901 N. Moore Street with a 27-story, 423-unit apartment building in June 2021. Construction of the building is expected to take three years.
“We are currently completing the interior demolition and abatement so [we] have not necessarily been delayed, just working through the County requirements for full demolition,” Van Wie told ARLnow today (Thursday).
JAG is leading a joint venture to demolish the building, built in 1969, as well as the skywalk connecting it to the Rosslyn Gateway building. The new structure, comprised of of a north and a south tower joined at the base and at the rooftop with an “amenity bridge,” will have retail and parking across the third and fourth floors and underground.
A letter to residents of JBG Smith-owned mixed-use apartment building Central Place, shared with ARLnow, informed residents that demolition would start Friday.
Van Wie said he is “not sure it will be Friday.”
Residents noticed prep work for the site occurring last fall. At the time, Van Wie told ARLnow he did not yet have a demolition schedule to share, but did say it will be dismantled, rather than imploded, “so there won’t quite be the same show as with the old Holiday Inn, unfortunately.”
The letter to Central Place residents outlined hours of demolition and expected closures over the next five months.
“We are expecting temporary closures of N. Moore Street just north of N. 19th Street,” it reads. “All closures will be coordinated between the developers and Arlington County.”
Per county zoning ordinances, demolition may take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the letter said.
“In our experience, teams will begin working promptly in the mornings, however it is common that activity will slow in the evenings,” the letter continued.
JAG projected demolition would occur in February or March back in December, when the Washington Business Journal reported that a joint venture led by JAG acquired the building for $55.5 million.
Three years ago, JAG took over the plans to redevelop the property from Weissberg Investment Corp., which built the initial building in 1969 and had plans to redevelop it back in 2017. The original plans were later put on hold.
Renovations to a pair of office buildings in Crystal City, including the construction of a new pedestrian plaza, are set to wrap up this spring.
Work kicked off last year at the Century Center towers, located at the intersection of Crystal Drive and S. Clark Street. Some older retail space between the buildings, previously known as Century One (2450 Crystal Drive) and Century Two (2461 S. Clark Street), was torn down to make room for the plaza.
Now, the upgrades to the 50-year-old buildings and the plaza between them are in the home stretch and set to be completed this spring, per an announcement from MRP Realty and LaSalle Investment Management. As part of the refresh, the towers are being rebranded simply as “Crystal & Clark.”
The exteriors and mall interior of the old Century Center buildings were “dated and washed-out,” per a press release. Now, the buildings “balance modern design with biophilic and organic touches” and feature “vibrant retail.”
The plaza, meanwhile, “is a reimagined central gathering hub between the two buildings,” per the release. It will be lined by retail, including a new Primrose Schools Early Education & Care location and forthcoming retailers in casual and fine dining, medical care and boutique fitness, as well as a food market, according to the building’s website.
“Century Center was an outmoded design with limited amenities and much-needed indoor/outdoor spaces for the offices, further complemented by the retail-accessible pedestrian plaza shared by the two buildings,” said Frederick Rothmeijer, Founding Principal of MRP’s Development, Construction Management and Asset Management operations, in a statement. “Our strategic plan executed with Davis Construction brings a palpable vitality to this property, and to the neighborhood, located in the center of the burgeoning National Landing.”
As part of the renovations, the plaza has new outdoor seating and gathering areas while the buildings have increased street-level retail and restaurant spaces, as well as streetscape improvements.
Inside, refreshed features include a new lobby and “the largest office conference center in National Landing,” per the press release. That’s in addition to a fitness center with locker rooms, second- and third-floor terraces with indoor and outdoor meeting spaces and a “townhall” amenity space.
“With our keen appreciation of the National Landing neighborhood, we are pleased to see the redevelopment come to fruition,” said Shaun Broome, Managing Director at LaSalle Investment Management. “We believe it will be a significant draw for new tenants and an improved chapter for those who have been onsite for years.”
The renovations have already attracted a “strong contingent of office leases,” despite the difficult office leasing environment, per the release. Arlington’s overall office vacancy rate is currently above 21%.
Raytheon renewed the lease for its corporate headquarters at the Crystal City office complex in 2021, with 120,000 square feet of space on six floors across both buildings.
In total, 2450 Crystal Drive comprises 336,229 square feet of office space and 51,443 square feet of retail. Of that, 36,000 square feet are leased out or a lease is being negotiated. 2461 S. Clark Street has 232,969 square feet of office space and 5,000 square feet of retail now under lease of the total 18,980 available.
“Once prospective tenants visit the site and see this radically improved office and retail environment — especially the food and dining choices, along with a continuing vision set in the very center of National Landing, the value of this position will be undeniable,” said Gary Cook, Senior Vice President Leasing for Lincoln Property Company, in a statement. “The ‘office lifestyle’ here is a game-changer that I believe all current and future tenants celebrate as we seek to bring them new synergistic neighbors to the building.”
The old Transportation Security Administration buildings in Pentagon City, vacant and awaiting redevelopment, could get put to a new, temporary use.
Avis Car Rental is looking to add rental operations to the pair of offices and their underground garages at 601 and 701 12th Street S. The business, which currently has a location at 2600 Richmond Hwy, has filed two applications, one for each building, with the county.
The TSA announced in 2015 that it would be leaving its headquarters for offices in Alexandria after the expiration of the five-year lease it signed in 2013. That stalled and amid the pandemic, the agency switched course and instead moved to Springfield, opening its headquarters in 2021.
At the time of the announcement, Arlington was coping with relatively high office vacancy rates driven in part by the departure of major tenants — including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Science Foundation — in search of cheaper leases.
After a dip down, the pandemic hit, sending the office vacancy rate even higher, where it has remained due to lasting remote work trends Covid catalyzed.
Avis proposes an alternative use until the owner of the office buildings, Brookfield Properties, razes these towers and builds four new towers with a mix of residential, office and retail uses. Brookfield’s redevelopment plans, first filed in 2019, are currently on hold.
“The proposed Vehicle Rental Use will further Arlington County’s goals and aims for a resilient commercial market,” attorney Matthew Weinstein, representing the car rental company, wrote in an application. “The Property is currently operating as a vacant office building until future redevelopment. The Vehicle Rental Use will improve existing conditions by activating space that would otherwise remain vacant for the short to mid-term. Moreover, the Vehicle Rental use will benefit the National Landing area by allowing customers arriving at National Airport to have a reliable and efficient option for renting vehicles during their visit to the Washington, D.C. area.”
Avis plans plans on using 50-250 spaces daily per garage, but is leasing some 922 parking spaces between the two TSA buildings to have extra space “depending on the operational needs,” such as handling overflow from other facilities, Weinstein writes.
Customers will access the facility from the lobbies of both buildings, where there will also be service counters. Avis plans to serve customers and rideshare drivers and rent an estimated 40-50 vehicles per day. The proposed hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
“The Applicant’s vehicle rental facility network works cohesively to ensure each rental facility is meeting customer demands and the Applicant’s operational needs. This means that at certain times each vehicle rental facility in the Applicant’s network will back up and supplement each other depending on demand and operational requirements.”
Meanwhile, plans to redevelop the TSA buildings have been on hold since 2020, at the request of Arlington County planners, Brookfield previously told the Washington Business Journal. At the time, they were working on a new sector plan to guide future development in Pentagon City.
The plan that was in place when Brookfield filed preliminary redevelopment plans reached the end of its useful life in light of Amazon’s second headquarters. Despite some vocal opposition, the Arlington County Board approved a new plan that focuses on residential infill development and “ribbons” of tree- and plant-lined walking paths.
Brookfield did not return a request for comment about an updated timeline for redevelopment.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.
(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Shift5, a data and cybersecurity company that protects planes, trains and tanks, is heading into 2023 in new and bigger digs in Rosslyn.
In early December, it expanded its office footprint at 1100 Wilson Blvd by 67% to accommodate a swelling employee base. The startup’s workforce grew by more than 50% in 2022, funded by a $50 million Series B fundraising round completed early last year.
The building, owned by column sponsor Monday Properties, is home to restaurant Sfoglina and the headquarters for defense and aerospace company Raytheon Technologies.
Shift5 says the investment in more office infrastructure demonstrates the flexibility, empowerment and responsibility it provides to employees to work wherever is best for them. From its founding in 2019, the startup has permitted its employees across the U.S. to use office space or work remotely.
“Despite economic headwinds, Shift5 has actually expanded our headcount by 54% just this year. Because of the work we do with the government, we have been insulated from a lot of this turmoil and have been fortunate enough to keep growing,” said Shift5 CEO and co-founder Josh Lospinoso in a statement to ARLnow. “We are hybrid-by-design and will remain that way, but some of our teams want to be working in-person and collaborating in real-time.”
The company says its expanded presence in Arlington enables it to continue driving the pace of technology outside of Silicon Valley and keep tabs on decisions the U.S. Department of Defense makes to improve critical infrastructure.
“Shift5 is in a powerful position in the market. We’ve found a beachhead within [the Department of Defense] and have several customers using our technology to help fortify the readiness, lethality, and survivability of the military,” Lospinoso said in a press release. “Such success has helped us invest back into our company, and our people, one of our most valuable assets. Our hybrid-by-design workforce and massive growth are proof points of the fast-growing D.C. metro community.”
The office will hold over 80 desks, spaces for team meetings and activities, flexible workstations with stand-up desks, easily-moveable furniture and dedicated quiet areas. The new office space also includes a wellness room for nursing mothers and for those who would like to address physical and mental health needs during the work day.
2022 was a big year for Shift5. In addition to the $50 million fundraising round, it appointed three C-level executives: its inaugural Chief Financial Officer, Chief Research Officer and Chief Technology Officer. It was named a Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) Capital Cyber Award Finalist and Tech 100 Honoree, and recognized as an “Excellence Award Finalist” in the Most Promising Early-Stage Startup category for the 2022 SC Awards, which honor the American solutions, companies and people advancing cybersecurity.
It also secured multiple government and military contracts. Shift5 technology is used to monitor weapon system cyber health on aircraft, protect defense department weapons, provide technology for defensive cyberspace operations and provide cybersecurity for a network used by all military branches to share information and make decisions faster.