Boeing to move headquarters from Chicago to Washington, DC, area

May 5, 2022

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Boeing’s days as a Chicago-based company are drawing to a close. The aerospace giant is set to relocate its headquarters to the Washington, D.C., area.

Boeing will move to Arlington, Virginia, directly across the Potomac River from Washington, it said on Thursday. The company already has a large campus in Arlington, nestled between the Pentagon and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). It’s located close to Amazon’s HQ2, which is under construction, making Arlington an already bigger hotbed for large companies.

“We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in a statement. “The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent.”

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While Boeing is often associated with its large commercial aircraft operations in the Puget Sound region around Seattle, the company hasn’t been based there since 2001, when it moved to 100 North Riverside Plaza, across the Chicago River from the Loop.

Boeing said it will continue to maintain a presence in Chicago. No date was given for the move.

The move was first reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal and later confirmed by The Washington Post.

Moving its headquarters to the D.C. area will bring top company leaders closer to three key constituencies: Congress, which has increasingly taken interest in the company since the grounding of the 737 MAX; the Federal Aviation Administration, which has increased its oversight of the planemaker as it seeks to certify the 777X and other MAX variants and the Department of Defense, a massive customer.

The company said it had been in talks with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Sen. Mark Warner about the move.

More: Boeing finds launch customer for 777X freighter

The move was a long time coming. Boeing moved its defense business from the St. Louis area to Arlington in 2017. In October, a Reuters report called the Chicago headquarters, which had 513 employees based there in 2020, a “ghost town.” For its move to Chicago, Boeing received 20 years of tax incentives from the city, which are soon expiring.

“The signs were there for all to see if you were looking,” journalist Scott Hamilton, who closely covers Boeing, wrote on Thursday.

Photo of Boeing’s facility in Arlington, Virginia, by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

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