Boeing announced Friday that it will relocate its offices from Chicago to the Washington, D.C., putting business leaders closer to key federal authorities.
The corporation said that its corporate building will be in Arlington, Virginia and that it aims to build a technology and research cluster there.
Boeing CEO David Calhoun said, "The location makes economic sense for our headquarters given its accessibility to our clients and partners, as well as its access to top engineering and technical personnel."
The relocation is a victory for Virginia's Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, who ran on a desire to deliver new firms and employment to the state last year.
Youngkin said in a statement, "The choice to call Virginia home demonstrates that the state is a good spot for aerospace industries. I'm excited to work with Boeing to help Virginia recruit even more professionals, especially given the state's reputation for engineering brilliance."
Youngkin left his position as co-CEO of the Carlyle Group in late 2020. As per a person acquainted with the situation who was not allowed to disclose the conversations publicly, he was intimately involved in negotiations about the relocation and had a previous business partnership with Calhoun, who was also an investment industry official.
The project will not get any government subsidies, nor will it get any from Arlington County, according to a spokesman for Virginia's economic development department.
Boeing is a significant defense partner, and the relocation will put company executives in close proximity to Pentagon officials. Military contractors such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics already have offices in the Washington, D.C. area.
The Federal Aviation Authority, which authorizes Boeing freight jets, would also be close by.
Since the catastrophic disasters of its greatest plane, the 737 Max, in 2018 and 2019, Boeing's partnership with the FAA has been damaged.
The FAA took nearly two years to accept design improvements and enable the plane to fly again, significantly longer than Boeing had anticipated. New Boeing jets will also take longer to get certified.
The company's efforts to create a refueling tanker for the Air Force have run into financial difficulties. It has also been harmed by the epidemic, which has slowed travel and reduced the market for new planes.
Boeing lost $1.2 billion in the first quarter of this year.
Boeing's headquarters are in Seattle, and the company has manufacturing operations in Washington and South Carolina.